Meet Me on Mercer Street: Tour the Neighborhood with Kacie in this EXCLUSIVE Minicomic

Meet Me on Mercer Street is a brand new graphic novel from Booki Vivat, author of the Frazzled series, filled with humor, heart, and, most importantly, lots of hope!

Kacie Sitthiwat is an aspiring artist who lives on Mercer Street and spends most of her time hanging out with her best friend, Nisha, scribbling away in her sketchbook with observations about the people in her neighborhood. Kacie may live in a big city, but the area she calls home feels more like a small town—a community of people who know each other well, have each other’s backs, and run local businesses, like her parent’s laundry service and Nisha’s family’s deli and grocery store.

After a summer away, Kacie returns home to discover that everything has changed. Nisha is nowhere to be found, and it seems like there’s something the adults aren’t telling her. Nisha’s family business is boarded up, there’s a new kid in town, and there are men in suits walking around. There are even whispers of shutting down the community garden. When the grocery store reopens, it’s not Nisha’s family grocery, but a chain store that feels soulless and stark in comparison.

Book cover for Meet Me on Mercer Street by Booki Vivat

Harriet the Spy meets Front Desk in this funny, surprising graphic novel by Booki Vivat, author-illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Frazzled series.

Aspiring artist Kacie spends most of her time on Mercer Street with her best friend, Nisha, people-watching and doodling whatever is happening in their neighborhood. But when she comes back from a summer away, the local corner store is boarded up, the adults in town are all on edge, and Nisha is nowhere to be found! Everything is changing, and Kacie’s not sure what to do about it. Especially without Nisha to help her.

But Kacie has a knack for noticing things, and with her sketchbooks and observational skills, she just might have what it takes to figure out what’s really happening on Mercer Street.

Filled with both cartoons and graphic comic panels, Booki Vivat draws a hilarious-yet-deeply-perceptive portrait of a changing neighborhood, a mysterious disappearance, and the girl who’s determined to understand how she fits in to the picture.

Meet Me on Mercer Street
AUTHOR: Booki Vivat
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Press
DATE: April 2, 2024

Frustrated about being left in the dark and feeling helpless about what to do, Kacie decides to unravel the mystery of what’s happening on Mercer Street and why Nisha’s family is suddenly gone. She realizes that using the things she’s best at, her observant eye and love of drawing, might just be the key to everything – including things she didn’t even consider!

We know our readers will heart Kacie and this relatable story about dealing with change, building community, and finding where you fit amongst it all, which is why we asked author Booki Vivat to create something super special just for you – and EXCLUSIVE minicomic inspired by Meet Me on Mercer Street.

Join Kacie for a tour of the neighborhood, giving you a peek into her tight-knit community on Mercer Street and a glimpse into how everything is changing – fast!

Meet Me on Mercer Street Minicomic:

Two panel comic. Comic panel one shows Kacie from Meet Me on Mercer Street. She is waving excitedly with a big smile next to a sign that says "Welcome to the Neighborhood: An Introduction to Mercer Street" Her speech bubble reads "I'm Kacie! I live on Mercer Street, so I know everything about this neighborhood. Let me show you around!" Comic panel two is a map of Mercer Street and the surrounding neighborhood blocks with 10 important neighborhood buildings zoomed in and labeled, Mo's Diner, Viva Paletas, Smiley's Cleaners, Hugh Mercer Middle School, Deckled Edge Books, The Community Garden, Khanna's Grocery & Deli, Mercer Park, Mercer Street Bank, and The Post Office.
Six panel comic. Comic panel one shows Kacie looking into her sketchbook in front of Smiley's Cleaners. Her mom is driving a delivery truck, her dad is loading laundry bags into the bag. Her Uncle Ott is at the door, labeled (Not technically my real uncle) Text Reads: "My family has a laundry and dry cleaning business in town." 

Comic panel two shows Nisha, Kacie's best friend, standing her family's bodega. Text reads: "Nisha's family owns a grocery and deli nearby. Nisha is labeled as (my best friend) and Nisha's dad is standing behind the register. There is a black cat walking through the shop.

Text bubble below the first two panels reads: "We spend a lot of time on Mercer Street. Here are some of our favorite places:"

Comic panel three shows Mo's Diner, Mo and Marcus standing out front. Text reads "The absolute best curly fries around."
Comic panel four shows The Acostas standing in front of their popsicle stand with customers sitting at a table eating popsicles. Text reads "Always has amazing new flavors to try."
Comic panel five shows Mercer Park with a swing set, trees, and The Bench Grandpas sitting on a bench. Text reads "Our usual hang out spot (especially on the swings)"
Comic panel six shows the interior of The Deckled Edge bookshop with Mrs. Davis holding a stack of books. There are kids looking at bookshelves and a few others laying around on a blanket reading. There is a black cat laying on a couch. Text reads "The ultimate source for cool books and comics."
Five panel comic with Kacie sitting in the middle of the panels, worried and confused. Her text bubble reads "Lately, though, things on Mercer Street have been changing and I'm not sure what to do about it." Comic panel one shows Nisha looking sad with a suitcase in front of a building that is being renovated. Text reads "Nisha isn't around anymore."

Comic panel two shows that Nisha's familys grocery store has been replaced with a bank. Text reads "Khanna's has been replaced."

Comic panel three shows a happy boy on a skateboard in front of an apartment building. Text reads "There's a new kid in town."
Comic panel four shows the community garden with a snazzy looking business man hovering over it. Text reads "The community garden might be in trouble."
Comic panel five shows Kacie peeking her head into the panel with a pencil tucked behind her ear, doodles in the background. Text reads "So maybe I don't know everything that's going on here - but I plan to find out."
(Minicomic written and illustrated by Booki Vivat for YAYOMG!)

We’re not done yet! Booki Vivat is giving readers an even more personal peek into the story through five fun facts! Here’s what she had to say: “Kacie is an aspiring artist whose sketchbooks are full of observations and details of life in the neighborhood. When I was making this book, I wanted to infuse the art with lots of personal inspirations and references. Here are a few fun facts about the book and details in the art that you can look out for!”

Fun Facts:

Fact #1:

It took me a while to settle on the street and neighborhood name. After many many brainstorms, I landed on “Mercer Street.” I knew it was meant to be because my publisher, Scholastic, also happens to be located on Mercer Street!

Fact #2:

The poster on Kacie’s bedroom wall is a reference to Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh—a classic book that was a favorite for me growing up and a major inspiration for the character of Kacie herself!

Fact #3:

I love making references to my favorite foods (ex: pastries in the Frazzled series), so in this book, I included things that made me nostalgic for certain places from my real life. To name a few… fruit jelly cups, Fanta, paletas, kimbap, and your classic bacon egg and cheese.

Fact #4:

Growing up, my family and I used to watch Wheel of Fortune together, so I put that into the book. There’s even a half-finished puzzle on the TV screen in that scene, and the answer is a nod to what’s happening in the story!

Fact #5:

I love the Mercer Street community and wanted to be a small part of the neighborhood, so I decided to make a little author cameo in the book. Keep an eye out for me at the Mercer Street Block Party!


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