Melanie Sumrow

Author of Novels for Young Readers

Praise for The Inside Battle

Thirteen-year-old Rebel Mercer yearns for his father's approval. His dad suffers from PTSD and spends time in their basement communicating with a racist, anti-government militia group called the Flag Bearers. He doesn't agree with his dad's ideology, but he isn't speaking out against it either. Can Rebel find his voice when it's needed most?


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Book Trailer

Melanie reads

the first chapter


New York Public Library's Best Books for Kids 2020  


“Sumrow takes on an incredibly fraught subject with care and restraint, remaining firmly within Rebel's point of view as a young teen who desperately longs for his macho father's esteem even as he wages an internal battle against his racist indoctrination...Entering Rebel's world will be an eye-opening, disturbing but rewarding experience for young readers."

~Shelf Awareness, Starred Review


“Powerful in its impact while remaining true to its middle-grade audience, Sumrow's latest is unafraid to fully explore how hate, misplaced anger, and racism can affect the relationship between a boy and his father."



“Ms. Sumrow is able to take meatier, darker story lines and treat them with dignity. She never loses sight of who her audience is, giving us stories that won't talk down to young readers, and embraces the readers for the intelligent, compassionate, resilient beings they are." 

~Kathleen March, Anderson's Bookshop (Downers Grove, IL)


“This book should be taught in schools, read in library book clubs, and given for every sort of gift-giving holiday. Despite the cliche, I truly believe that The Inside Battle will keep you on the edge of your seat, leave you wanting more, and change your life."

~Laura R. Speake, Gibson's Bookstore (Concord, NH)


“This is a fascinating story that will spark many discussions and thoughtful consideration of current events and attitudes."

~Lisa Plummer, Interabang Books (Dallas, TX)


“I adore Sumrow's writing and by exploring taboo subjects, she helps broaden the scope of conversations we should include young people within."

~Melissa Phillips, Joseph-Beth Booksellers (Lexington, KY)