AfterMath

Emily Barth Isler. Carolrhoda, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5415-9911-6
Eight months after her younger brother Theo dies from a rare heart condition, 12-year-old Lucy Rothman’s grieving parents need a fresh start, so the white Jewish family moves from Maryland to Queensland, Va., a town still deeply affected by a school shooting four years prior. Seventh grader Lucy’s tightly knit new classmates speak openly about their losses while she, feeling estranged from the group, keeps hers a secret. Feeling distanced from both her parents and peers, Lucy is lonely, and math, once her favorite subject, no longer brings comfort. It isn’t until she befriends another white loner, Avery—the school shooter’s much younger half sister—that Lucy begins to heal. When the girls take an after-school mime class together, Lucy comes to realize that, though grief takes many forms, those affected can form connections. Showing a keen understanding of loss, Isler’s compassionate debut is written with stark honesty, showcasing various responses to tragedy, including Lucy’s parents’ inability to talk about the past, the students’ collective need to share their stories, and encouragement of therapy. Back matter includes an author’s note and discussion questions. Ages 10–14. Agent: Kari Sutherland, Bradford Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 08/04/2021
Release date: 09/01/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-7284-1740-0
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