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Helga the Fair

Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, Coming Summer 2026

Helga the Fair is a middle-grade fantasy that’s a reimagining of several classic Icelandic sagas, giving new voice and agency to a girl who was frankly underserved by the old tales.


Thirteen-year-old Helga the Fair doesn’t know who her parents were or where she came from. All she knows is life with Goat-Thigh, who found her as a baby in the highlands and has given her a home ever since. Goat-Thigh used to be plagued with fits of berserk fury—a battle rage that comes over a person without warning and renders them dangerous to everyone around. The moment Goat-Thigh took in Helga, these fits stopped. She feels as responsible for keeping him safe as he does for her.


Their lives are disrupted when following the funeral of the chieftain’s cousin, a nearby haunted mountain cracks open and a mob of vengeful undead invades the land. In the chaos, Goat-Thigh’s berserk fits are triggered... and he’s unable to break free.


Under the guidance of a local witch and her wife, Helga learns that the only way to help Goat-Thigh is to banish every one of the troublesome undead. She’ll need the help of her best friend, Scratcher; mean-girl Marta Thistle-Heart; and a friendly ghost seal. Banishing the undead will require Helga and her allies to confront deep wounds from their tangled pasts... but if Helga doesn’t succeed, she’ll lose the only parent she’s ever known.

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