What’s this? What’s this? Why, none other than a new YA novel for a beloved Disney classic of course! Cult classic (and one of my favorite movies ever) The Nightmare Before Christmas is getting a sequel. Disney Publishing has hired Shea Ernshaw (The Wicked Deep, Winterwood) to create a YA novel set after the 1993 classic film. Now what makes this new story, which is currently untitled, so exciting is the fact that it’s told from Sally’s perspective. So not only does this avoid feeling like a retelling of the story we already know, but it gives some much-needed attention to Sally who became overshadowed by Jack’s storyline. Honestly, this decision is *chef’s kiss.*
The novel begins sometime after her first kiss with Jack Skellington on Spiral Hill, with the two now married. A new adventure begins for Sally when she accidentally sets a Halloween Town villain free. The villain puts Jack, Halloween Town, and the other holiday-themed towns in the film’s universe (including at least one that fans have never seen before) in danger. Ernshaw goes in more detail:
This new book, written from the point of view of Sally, takes place shortly after the movie ends. It’s the yet-to-be-told love story of Sally and Jack. But it’s also a coming-of-age story for Sally, as we see her navigate her new royal title as the Pumpkin Queen of Halloween Town.[It] will hopefully give fans a long-awaited second dose of Sally, Jack, and all the familiar residents of Halloween Town, while introducing a new cast of grim, strange characters, that I hope readers will love.
Even though we don’t get much of her, I’ve always been super-fond of Sally and she’s without a doubt one of my favorite Disney heroines. Not to mention ‘Sally’s Song’ is still a smash hit. So, I’m happy Ernshaw is eager to give our favorite rag doll a more developed character arc and some much needed TLC;
In this book, I really wanted to explore Sally’s identity, and better understand not only who she is now that she’s fallen in love with Jack and taken on the role of the Pumpkin Queen, but also understand how her past has affected her present desires, doubts, and dreams. What does a rag doll truly want out of life? What is she afraid of? And how much is she willing to risk to save those she loves? As we will learn in the book, she’s willing to risk quite a lot. Sally is one of the most compelling, and also richly-layered characters I’ve ever written, and it’s an honor to get to tell her story.
A YA novel flushing out Sally’s character and she’s Pumpkin Queen? I’m sold. Bookworms and fellow fans can catch Sally’s spooktacular story when the novel drops in July 2022. Happy reading!