“A lovely, heartbreaking, warm, funny, and ultimately hopeful map of the way back home.” —Jordan Sonnenblick, author of Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie
A cancer survivor must readjust to “normal” middle school life in this “powerful story about surviving and thriving” (School Library Journal, starred review) from the author of Star-Crossed and Truth or Dare.
Norah Levy has just completed two years of treatment for leukemia and is ready to go back to the “real world” of middle school. She knows it’ll be tricky—but like the Greek mythological characters she read about while she was sick, Norah’s up for any challenge.
But seventh grade turns out to be harder than she thought. Norah’s classmates don’t know what to make of her. Her best friend, Harper, tries to be there for her, but she doesn’t get it, really—and is hanging out with a new group of girls. Norah’s other good friend, Silas, is avoiding her. What’s that about, anyway?
When Norah is placed with the eighth graders for math and science, she meets Griffin, a cute boy who encourages her love of Greek mythology and art. And Norah decides not to tell him her secret—that she was “that girl” who had cancer. But when something happens to make secret-keeping impossible, Norah must figure out a way to share her story.
But how do you explain something to others that you can’t explain to yourself? Can Nora take her cue from her favorite Greek myth? And then, once she finds the words, can she move forward with a whole new “normal?”
Barbara Dee is the author of twelve middle grade novels published by Simon & Schuster, including Violets Are Blue, My Life in the Fish Tank, Maybe He Just Likes You, Everything I Know About You, HalfwayNormal, and Star-Crossed. Her books have earned several starred reviews and have been named to many best-of lists, including the TheWashington Post’s Best Children’s Books, the ALA Notable Children’s Books, the ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project List, the NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, and the ALA Rainbow List Top Ten. Barbara lives with her family, including a naughty cat named Luna and a sweet rescue hound named Ripley, in Westchester County, New York.