In New Orleans, ten-year-old Zavion crouches in the attic of his house as Hurricane Katrina pounds around him. Up, down, and over.
In northern Vermont, ten-year-old Henry swipes a marble hidden inside his best friend’s casket. He still can’t believe his friend died on Mount Mansfield—their mountain.
As Zavion and his father flee for a friend’s house in Baton Rouge, Henry and his best friend’s father head south to New Orleans to help victims of the storm. But Henry has a secret reason for going too.
And Zavion is on a mission of his own…
How do the two boys meet? It’s all thanks to that marble—a small, round, lucky piece of glass—tucked away in the pocket of Henry’s jeans.
Published by Schwartz & Wade/Random House.
- Summer 2015 Kids Indies Next List Pick
- 2015 Indies Introduces Top Ten Pick
- one of Bank Street’s Best Books of the Year 2015
- SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist 2016
- Vermont Book Award finalist 2016
“Elegant prose and emotional authenticity will make this title sing not only for those who have experienced tragedies, but for everyone who knows the magic that only true friendship can foster.”
—Kirkus Reviews starred review
“It is refreshing to see the feelings of two middle grade boys explored so fearlessly. This is a novel that will spark contemplation and discussion.”
—School Library Journal
“In Smith’s poetic hands, this poignant story barrels across the pages and into the reader’s heart, reminding us that magic can arise from the deepest tragedy.”
—Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor Award winner and two-time National Book Award Finalist
“Smith’s simple and lyrical prose combines the event-based realism of Lauren Tarshis’s I Survived series, the heartwarming emotion of Wonder by R.J. Palacio, and the plot complexity of Lisa Graff’s A Tangle of Knots into a story about grief, healing, and friendship in spite of superficial differences.”
—Rachel Hochberg at Children’s Book World in Haverford, Pa
“Readers will love this character-driven story of friendship, healing, and hope. A moving and poetic story with a dash of suspense.”
—Amy Oelkers, Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN
“This is a remarkable story by debut author Tamara Ellis Smith about the many different ways children feel and cope when their world has turned upside-down.”
—Arna Lewis, Buttonwood Books & Toys in Cohasset, MA