With shades of When You Reach Me, The Thing About Jellyfish, and Bridge to Terabithia, and a big, timely climate hook at its core, here is a heartfelt middle grade debut about the inevitability of change that will resonate profoundly during these extraordinary times.
Spring has arrived, and yet an unyielding winter freeze has left Louisa snowed into her apartment building for months with parents coping with extreme stress, a little brother struggling with cabin fever, and—awkwardly—her neighbor and former close friend, Luke. The new realities of this climate disaster have not only affected Louisa's family, but when Luke's dad has an ice-related accident and it's unclear if he'll recover, both families' lives are turned upside down.
Desperate to find an escape from the grief plaguing their homes, Louisa and Luke build a massive snow fort in their yard. But their creation opens up an otherworldly window to what could lie ahead, and sets them on a mission: to restore the universe to its rightful order, so the ice will melt and life will return to "normal".
With a deft combination of heartfelt prose and a touch of magic, Monica Sherwood's affecting debut novel is a relatable story of families grappling with—and emerging from—a different kind of quarantine.
Monica Sherwood taught public school in New York and now helps design tech products for children and teachers. This is her first novel. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
"A gentle and thoughtful story about the magic that can be found in resilience, art, and most of all, friendship. A very prescient book…Genuine and heartwarming."
—Jasmine Warga, Newbery Honor-winning author of Other Words for Home
“A beautifully written novel about a world of mostly physical isolation and virtual connection that seems all too familiar [and that] readers will strongly relate to.”
—Dusti Bowling, author of Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
“A sensitive, authentic hero’s journey through the unexpected, cumulative grief that life can bring and the resilience on the other side.”
—Melissa Savage, author of Lemons
"A beautiful reminder that sometimes, things that break can’t be pieced back together exactly as they were—but they can be made anew."
—Kate O’Shaughnessy, author of The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane
"Sherwood...successfully captures the turmoil of living far apart and unbearably close."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A timely exploration of climate, grief, and change."—Kirkus Reviews