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In this beautifully constructed middle-grade novel, told half in prose and half in verse, Lauren prides herself on being a good sister, and Sierra is used to taking care of her mom. When Lauren’s parents send her brother to a therapeutic boarding school for teens on the autism spectrum and Sierra moves to a foster home in Lauren’s wealthy neighborhood, both girls are lost until they find a deep bond with each other. But when Lauren recruits Sierra to help with a Robin Hood scheme to raise money for autistic kids who don’t have her family’s resources, Sierra has a lot to lose if the plan goes wrong. Lauren must learn that having good intentions isn’t all that matters when you battle injustice, and Sierra needs to realize that sometimes, the person you need to take care of is yourself.
THE WAY THE LIGHT BENDS (Philomel/ Penguin Random House)
A powerful novel in verse about fitting in, standing out, defining your own self-worth, and what it takes to keep a fracturing family whole.
Virtual twins Linc and Holly were once extremely close. But while artistic, creative Linc is her parents’ daughter biologically, it’s smart, popular Holly, adopted from Ghana as a baby, who exemplifies the family’s high-achieving model of academic success.
Linc is desperate to pursue photography, to find a place of belonging, and for her family to accept her for who she is, despite her surgeon mother’s constant disapproval and her growing distance from Holly. So when she comes up with a plan to use her photography interests and skills to do better in school–via a project based on Seneca Village, a long-gone village in the space that now holds Central Park, where all inhabitants, regardless of race, lived together harmoniously–Linc is excited and determined to prove that her differences are assets, that she has what it takes to make her mother proud. But when a long-buried family secret comes to light, Linc must decide whether her mother’s love is worth obtaining.
A novel in verse that challenges the way we think about family and belonging.
SKYSCRAPING (Philomel/Penguin Random House)
A heartrending, bold novel in verse about family, identity, and forgiveness
Mira is just beginning her senior year of high school when she discovers her father with his male lover. Her world–and everything she thought she knew about her family–is shattered instantly. Unable to comprehend the lies, betrayal, and secrets that–unbeknownst to Mira–have come to define and keep intact her family’s existence, Mira distances herself from her sister and closest friends as a means of coping. But her father’s sexual orientation isn’t all he’s kept hidden. A shocking health scare brings to light his battle with HIV. As Mira struggles to make sense of the many fractures in her family’s fabric and redefine her wavering sense of self, she must find a way to reconnect with her dad–while there is still time.
Told in raw, exposed free verse, Skyscraping reminds us that there is no one way to be a family.
SKYSCRAPING was named one of YALSA’s BEST FICTION BOOKS FOR YOUNG ADULTS
SKYSCRAPING was named one of NCTE’S 2016 NOTABLE VERSE NOVELS
SKYSCRAPING was named one of the TOP 10 LGBTQ BOOKS FOR YOUTH by Booklist
SKYSCRAPING was named one of the BEST OF 2015: TEEN BOOKS by the Los Angeles Public Library
SKYSCRAPING was named one of Bustle’s 15 Best Books of June
SKYSCRAPING was named Paste Magazine’s 13 of the Best Books of June
SKYSCRAPING was named by HYPABLE as one of the Fifteen YA Books to Read in 2015
Praise for SKYSCRAPING:
“exquisite free verse poems . . . illuminating and deeply felt.”–Booklist, STARRED review
“This book should be popular with fans of Sarah Dessen and would be a worthy addition to most high school library collections.”—VOYA
“Jensen’s spare free-verse poems and accessible imagery realistically portray the fraught moments of adolescent identity formation with great empathy. Compelling snapshots of contemporary family drama and the AIDS epidemic as captured through a teen’s eyes.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A moving coming-of-age story…well written in a beautifully flowing free verse. This lyrical, accessible narrative with spare text is a great choice for reluctant readers…those who enjoyed Isabel Quintero’s Gabi, a Girl in Pieces (Cinco Puntos, 2014), also about a strong female protagonist in her senior year of high school facing tough decisions, and fans of Neal Shusterman’s coming-of-age tale set in New York City, Downsiders (S. & S., 1999). A skillfully told and captivating novel about love, family, and surviving the hardships of life.”—School Library Journal
“Written in straightforward, accessible free verse tinged with celestial metaphors, this story–set in a well-rendered 1993 NYC–is sincere, touching, and heartwrenching.” —Horn Book
“In gorgeous poetic verse, Jensen captures the raw emotions and hard truths of a family dealing with forgiveness and love…. Your heart will soar and break and heal anew.” –An Na, author of Printz Award winner and National Book Award finalist A Step from Heaven
“Skyscraping is brilliant, sharp and bright. A stellar story. Jensen has written a powerful tale about love and loss, a story that will stick with readers long after they’ve reached the end. Her poetry is vivid, tangible, and visceral. She’s a rising star with a breathtaking debut. This is a novel made of star stuff.”—Skila Brown, author of Caminar
AVAILABLE WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD.