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About The Book

“Captures with unusually knowing and respectful perception the steps of a friend shift.” —BCCB (starred review)

Two life-long best friends grow up and begin to grow apart in this honest, deeply felt middle grade debut.

Sara and Nadine.
Nadine and Sara.

It’s only ever been the two of them. Two halves of the same person. Best friends forever—until they aren’t.

Everything has changed this year. Nadine has suddenly skipped a grade and gone to high school without Sara. No matter how hard she fights to save their friendship, Sara can feel it slipping away.

But change can happen from the inside, too. The forever-friend days of running through sprinklers and slurping up ice cream cones may be over. Yet in their place, Sara just might discover something new and wonderful: herself.

About The Author

Photograph by Farrah Aviva

Michelle Kim is a filmmaker and actor. She was born and raised in Surrey, Canada, and now lives in Vancouver, Canada. Running Through Sprinklers is her first novel. Visit her at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (April 17, 2018)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781481495301
  • Grades: 5 and up
  • Ages: 10 - 99
  • Lexile ® 750L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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Raves and Reviews

"Sara's internal dialogue gradually awakens emotional truth and personal growth as she learns from her mistakes . . . Readers get a ringside seat to the rite of passage of feeling true sadness for the first time in this story for readers readying to move up to YA.”

– Kirkus Reviews

“A highlight of the novel . . . is Sara’s strong relationship with her family and her Korean heritage.”

– School Library Journal

“This appealing Canadian debut [is] . . . Full of familiar middle-grade experiences. . . . Sara’s feelings of betrayal and confusion ring true. She learns a valuable lesson that, though friendships evolve and change is inevitable, she’s resilient and unbreakable.”

– Booklist

“Kim fills this honest coming-of-age story with small yet treasured memories from Sara and Nadine’s friendship, conveying the depth of their connection and the uncertainty that change brings. . . . Sara’s Korean identity is a particularly well-integrated part of the story. Kim’s debut deftly explores the complexities of friendship and growing up, as well as the satisfaction that comes through self-discovery.”

– Publishers Weekly

* “Captures with unusually knowing and respectful perception the steps of a friend shift. . . . Readers who loved Dowell’s The Secret Language of Girls and its sequels or who are going through their own friendship renegotiations will appreciate the intensity about BFF love and BFF loss.”

– BCCB, Starred Review

“Debut author Kim deftly and sympathetically evokes Sara’s confusion, grief, and anger during this year of upheaval. . . . [an] introspective story of moving from childhood (characterized by glorious days of running through sprinklers) to adolescence.”

– The Horn Book

Awards and Honors

  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)

Resources and Downloads

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