12:00 pm EDT, March 7, 2019

Exclusive: First ‘Stranger Things’ YA novel explores Mad Max’s backstory

Stranger Things comes to life in new books — including a YA prequel — from the creepy world of Hawkins.

Random House Children’s Books has announced three new titles set in the world of Netflix’s beloved series, Stranger Things.

Stranger Things: Runaway Max is the first Young Adult novel to be published for the property. Written by New York Times bestselling author Brenna Yovanoff (The Replacement, Fiendish) Runaway Max is a gripping prequel that fills in Max’s backstory before she arrives in Hawkins, Indiana.

“I was really thrilled at the chance to dig into Max’s backstory!” Yovanoff tells Hypable. “She and I share a particular fascination with monsters and it was so much fun to explore her affection for famous slashers of the ’80s, not to mention her relationship with the most brutal monster in her own life: an angry teenage boy.”

Stranger Things: Runaway Max will be available on June 4, just a month before the highly-anticipated release of Stranger Things season 3.

Also coming from Random House Children’s Books are two in-world collectable titles. The Hawkins Middle School Yearbook / Hawkins High School Yearbook combines two yearbooks of the 1980s, offering insights into the characters, conventions, and daily lives of Hawkins. The book, full of pictures, inscriptions, and secret notes, hits bookstores on March 26.

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And Will Byers’s Secret Files will offer a new look into the mind of one of Stranger Things‘ most pivotal and ambiguous characters. Structured like a classic school binder, Will Byers’s Secret Files will explore the Upside Down through Will’s eyes. The book includes photos, sketches, notes about the Upside Down, and secrets from the Hawkins National Laboratory, giving readers a new angle on the mysteries of Stranger Things. Will Byers’s Secret Files will be released on Sept. 24.

“Random House Children’s books is thrilled to collaborate with Netflix on a series of books based on their totally tubular series, Stranger Things,” says Mallory Loehr, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Random House Books for Young Readers. “Young readers can travel back to 1985 with three books that are cooler than Steve Harrington’s hair.”

Well, one (stranger) thing is for sure. If the teasers for Stranger Things season 3 are any indication, these new books — like Hawkins, and like Steve’s hair — are going to be full of secrets.

Stranger Things season 3 hits Netflix on July 4, 2019.

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