Sugarfree Books

Sugarfree Books

Sugarfree Books

Creating books, creating worlds, creating possibility. Unsweetened.





We don’t believe that the stories we share with children need to be candy-coated. Kids are resilient. They are capable of engaging in dialogue about issues vital to their lives and to sustaining a community. Keep reading to learn about Sugarfree Books – books for kids that assume they are great. Thanks for stopping by, we appreciate you!

Sugarfree Books came about through the experience of its founder, Mark, as an educator and scholar working with children’s literature as a part of teacher education. He often heard prospective teachers (and parents for that matter) talk about children as innocent beings. These imagined children were products of media archetypes and generalized personal experience. On the contrary, he thinks kids are more complicated than that. They are capable of sophisticated thought. They have the same capacity as adults for right and wrong, happiness and suffering.

Ultimately, we don’t need to make life any sweeter than it is. Sugarfree Books is about honest storytelling.

In 2022, we restructured and moved our home office. We paused new title production until early 2023 and are now beginning again. Our books are still available for purchase through major retailers.

The Sugarfree Blog

Sugarfree Books is looking to extend our web presence with guest blog posts centered on scholarly consideration of topics on the fringes of children’s literature. In order to build a strong foundation for our publishing, we want to complement our web presence with provocative, fearless, public intellectual work around children’s and young adult literature–that fits with our progressive vision. Something sugar-free.

Maybe you have a topic that you want to write about that you aren’t sure fits with traditional publishing… Or maybe you have a manuscript that hasn’t found a home yet… Or maybe you want to just write about something you’ve been considering for some time, or a thought that just came into your head…



A teenager navigating a troubled home, an uninspiring school, and a world turned upside down by a virus looks for a creative outlet to express herself. She finds inspiration in public art, but finds herself in the margins once again. What does beauty mean in public spaces?

ISBN: 978-1733261722

Gabe Faces Ignorance

When Gabe unintentionally hurts his friend Sofia, he has no idea what he did wrong. It turns out he doesn’t know everything about her, and that his actions have unforeseen consequences. Sofia cleverly directs a conversation they have with her dad to lead Gabe toward a new understanding of their relationship and of his role in promoting bias.

ISBN: 978-1733261708

Let the Mystery Be New!

A young girl finds herself outside of a discernible reality and asks questions of the voice interacting with her there. Is she creating her own world? Is she writing her own story? What does it mean for life to have meaning?

ISBN: 978-1733261753

No Puzzles Tonight

On a typical evening, Joey would be doing puzzles with his grandmother. As they sit in Grandma’s hospital room, he and his mother piece together the memories of a life well-lived. Hers was a life that they’ll hold on to even after she’s gone.

ISBN: 978-1733261739

We’re a small business owned and operated exclusively in the USA. That means your purchase helps our community thrive.


New title production has been paused as we move home offices following a company restructuring in 2022.

NEW! Contagion and Community: A Dialogue

Parents and child talk about germs and social distancing in a globalized world that has begun to see the cracks in our interconnected lives.

Overcoming Opioids

Families and communities torn apart; self-medicating depression and an addictive personality; corporate greed and social marginalization–how do we build something good together from the rubble?

My Life as Someone Else

Our first YA chapter book is an autobiographical exploration into the uncertainty of being a transgender teen trying to forge a path into adulthood in Reykjavik.


Let’s Connect

If you have any ideas, questions or just want to get in touch, use the forms below. We look forward to hearing from you!

We are also available for consulting on your book project. Fill out a general inquiry below.

If you want to help support our mission, you can make a donation here.


We’ve prepared a form to get to know you and your ideas better. To learn more about submission, click here.

General Inquiries

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