New books by Seattle-area authors include a fantasy of fairy-tale princesses in the modern world, and the story of Ella Higginson, a writer who helped introduce the Pacific Northwest to readers across the country.

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New releases

“Letters to Zell” by Camille Griep (47 North, $14.95) What would happen if well-known fairy-tale princesses lived in the modern world and decided they wanted to write their own endings? In her debut novel, Griep, who lives near Seattle, has Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty risking it all to follow their dreams.

“Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature” by Laura Laffrado (Whatcom County Historical Society, $24.95). Readers across the country were introduced to the remote Pacific Northwest by Higginson’s descriptions of the rugged, scenic terrain and living conditions. She was named the state’s Poet Laureate in 1931. This books seeks to reintroduce readers to her life and celebrated works. Laffrado is a professor of English at Western Washington University.

“Talking Back: Voices of Color” by Nellie Wong (Red Letter Press, $15). The Seattle publisher presents an anthology from artists — some from our region — speaking out on issues affecting communities of color. Among them: Seattle native Mark Cook, a former Black Panther; Christina Lopez, a workers’ rights advocate; and Ann Rogers, who discusses land-rights battles.

“Elliott the Otter: The Totally Untrue Story of Elliott, the Boss of the Bay” by John Skewes and Eric Ode and illustrated by John Skewes (Sasquatch Books, $16.99). For ages 5-7: Elliott, like the tugboats that ply the bay, “might not be very big, but he has big responsibilities.” He has barges to signal, orcas to greet and salmon to direct before it’s finally time to light up Seattle’s skyline. Both residents and tourists will learn a little about daily activities out on the water in this colorful picture book. Skewes lives in Seattle; Ode lives in Bonney Lake.

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