Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Elizabeth Fama  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Young Adult;


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Illinois Connection

Fama lives in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

The author attended the University of Chicago and received a BA in Biology with honors, an MBA, and a PhD in Economics and Finance.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

ISBN: 0812626524

Cricket Books. 2002

Plunged into the dark waters off Sumatra when her ferry sinks, 14-year-old Emily fights to stay alive amid the chaos and horror of passengers drowning in the night. Striking out toward land, Emily finds a young Islamic Indonesian boy, Isman, floating in a life jacket. Hungry, thirsty, and exhausted, Emily realizes that their survival depends on her ability to keep her mind clear and her emotions in check. Testing the limits of their physical strength, she and Isman face a shark scare, a whirlpool, and other dangers. For emotional strength, Emily increasingly looks to Isman, who draws courage from his quiet but firm Islamic faith. Overboard is based on the true story of a young American woman who survived the sinking of an overloaded Indonesian ferry in January 1996. Of the more than 400 passengers aboard, only 40 people survived.

Monstrous Beauty
ISBN: 1250034256

Square Fish. 2013

Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost 140 years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra's help, Hester investigates her family's strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean―but, in Elizabeth Fama's Monstrous Beauty, powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.

Plus One
ISBN: 0374360073

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 2014

Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.

Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge―a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece―a day dweller, or Ray―she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.
Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Elizabeth Fama's Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.


Monstrous Beauty

  • 2013 Odyssey Honor Award (Best Audiobook)

  • 2013 YALSA Best Fiction For Young Adults
  • 2013 YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
  • 2013 (Top Ten)

    Best Audiobooks for Teens, School Library Journal

  • 2012 Nerdies Book Award Nominee
  • Overboard

  • Named a 2003 ALA Best Book for Young Readers (one of only eleven books selected unanimously that year)

  • 2002-2003 honor award for children's fiction, Society of Midland Authors
  • Starred Review

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)