There’s been a lot going on lately, between the OLA Superconference and the online events: Get to Know Hi-Lo and #IReadCanadian BUT I am super, SUPER excited to announce that I have more books coming, all with Orca Book Publishers.
First up is Fish Out of Water coming this August. Go here to read about it, but all you really need to know about it at this point is that it’s about a boy who wants to learn to knit as part of his bar mitzvah project but faces a lot of pushback, even from the people who love him the most. Do you love the cover? Yeah, you do. Ordering links coming soon, but until then, add the book to your Goodreads TBR.
Later, in Fall of 2021, the book of my heart, Tree of Life will release. This book has been a long time coming and is so, so, so important to me. Here’s my pitch for it:
Twelve-year-old Evelyn—Evie—Walman is not obsessed with death. She does think about it a lot, though, but only because her family runs a Jewish funeral home. At twelve, Evie already knows she’s going to be a funeral director when she grows up. Even if it means kids at school call her ‘corpse girl’ and say she smells like death. They’re just mean and don’t get how important funeral directors are.
Evie loves her part-time job at the funeral home. She cleans—dusting caskets, polishing pews, and vacuuming the chapel—and on funeral days, she dresses up and hands out tissues and offers her condolences to mourners. She doesn’t normally help her parents with the grieving families, until one day when they ask her to help with Oren, a boy her age who was in a tragic car accident that killed both his parents. Evie is to keep him company while they make the funeral arrangements with his uncle.
Evie knows all about funerals and is ready—even eager—to help the boy. Until it all goes terribly wrong. She quickly realizes that while she may know a lot about funerals, she doesn’t know very much about grief at all. She’s perplexed that her attempts to console and comfort the boy don’t work. He won’t speak, doesn’t care about her attempts at condolences, and even slams a door in her face.
Determined to make it right, and with a little help from her parents, Evie learns better how to deal with the grieving boy and they even develop a friendship. She’s committed to helping him heal as much as she can. Even if what he wants is for her to take him behind the scenes at the funeral home, showing him a side of the operation that few people ever see. And something she’s never seen—a real dead body.
TREE OF LIFE is a heartwarming, honest, respectful, and sometimes wry look at the inner workings of a Jewish funeral home through the lens of a tween who simply sees it as the family business.
What do you think? I’m so, so, so excited to share this book. Still early days so no cover or order links yet, but some kind soul has put it up on Goodreads so you can add it there.
More news coming soon, if you believe it, but until then, thanks for celebrating with me.