The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily

Laura Creedle. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-544-93205-0
Despite having dyslexia and ADHD, sophomore Lily Michaels-Ryan is well-read when it comes to medieval literature. When she was a child, her father used to read her The Letters of Abelard and Héloïse, the tragic tale of two lovers in 12th-century France. Lily’s father has since moved away to a cooperative farm, and the only Abelard in her life is Abelard Mitchell, a classmate with Asperger’s syndrome. When Lily and Abelard get sent to the vice principal’s office after a classroom incident, something sparks between them and leads to an unexpected romance. With wit, empathy, and insight, first-time author Creedle traces the smitten teens’ growing understanding of each other’s disabilities and mutual desire to make their relationship work. Though they face many obstacles—Lily’s impulsiveness and propensity to break things, Abelard’s reticence and sensitivity to touch—they find ways to communicate, often through text messages. Readers will be moved by the sacrifices the teens make for each other, and the open-ended conclusion invites speculation while providing reassurance that the bonds formed between these characters won’t easily be broken. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/09/2017
Release date: 12/26/2017
Genre: Children's
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