cover image Goodbye from Nowhere

Goodbye from Nowhere

Sara Zarr. Harper/Balzer + Bray, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-243468-5

High schooler Kyle Baker has always been close to his large extended family—he looks forward to their reunions at his grandparents’ Northern California farm and dreams of continuing the tradition with his girlfriend, Nadia. His ideas about family and tradition are shattered, however, when he finds out that his mother is having an affair. Kyle turns inward, ghosting Nadia and his baseball team; the only person he can confide in is his cousin Emily, but she lives miles away and has her own set of problems. Then Kyle gets another blow when he learns that his grandparents are going to sell their farm. In a story about broken dreams and unwanted change, Zarr (Gem & Dixie) skillfully conveys Kyle’s emotional journey as his narrow view of reality shifts and expands. Using a third-person narrative, she explores Kyle’s point of view while acknowledging other characters’ concerns, including aromantic Emily’s uncertainty about her sexuality, half-Mexican cousin Martie’s acute awareness of prejudice within the white family, and Kyle’s estranged older sister’s anger at their parents. A moving slice of realism, this book shows how a family crisis impacts many aspects of one boy’s life. Ages 14–up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Apr.)