Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 264
Themes: death, grieving, funeral home, friendship, Jewish tradition
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 12/Oct/2021
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? “A heartfelt and expertly written tale of loss, family, and friendship that will have readers blinking back their tears…Beautiful and sincere.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Evie Walman is not obsessed with death. She does think about it a lot, though, but only because her family runs a Jewish funeral home. At twelve, Evie already knows she’s going to be a funeral director when she grows up. So what if the kids at school call her “corpse girl” and say she smells like death? They’re just mean and don’t get how important it is to have someone take care of things when your world is falling apart. Evie loves dusting caskets, polishing pews, and vacuuming the chapel—and on funeral days, she dresses up and hands out tissues and offers her condolences to mourners. She doesn’t normally help her parents with the grieving families directly, until one day when they ask her to help with Oren, a boy who was in a horrific car accident that killed both his parents. Oren refuses to speak and Evie, who is nursing her own private grief, is determined to find a way to help him deal with his loss.

Praise for previous books by Joanne Levy:

“Levy's narrative is spot on.”—Booklist review for The Sun Will Come Out

“The story gives voice to the experience of Jewish preteens; chronic illness and disability are also sensitively tackled in this complex tale about difference, acceptance, and self-confidence. A heartfelt tear-jerker about love, friendship, and courage.”—Kirkus Reviews review for The Sun Will Come Out

“Uplifting, gentle…Exudes inter-generational warmth, family love, and friendship.”—Association of Jewish Libraries review for Fish Out of Water

“Though brief, this text masterfully connects the toxic masculinity to its roots in deep misogyny, making Fish a hero people of all genders can stand up and cheer for. All readers will appreciate this book’s nuanced messaging around gender roles and trusting yourself.”—Kirkus Reviews, review for Fish Out of Water

Susin Nielsen, author of Tremendous Things and We Are All Made of Molecules
“Joanne Levy is a Canadian gem whose writing makes you laugh one moment and cry the next.”
Adam Gidwitz, author of the Newbery Honoree The Inquisitor's Tale
“What comes after the hardest thing in the world? Joanne Levy answers this question the way a ten-year-old needs it to be answered. Sorry For Your Loss is funny, moving, deeply-researched, deeply felt and, above all, hopeful. Deceptively simple and simply marvelous.”
Lisa Brown, bestselling author/illustrator of The Phantom Twin and The Airport Book
“Joanne Levy writes of death, grief, and friendship through the eyes of the delightful Evie Walman as she negotiates both the rather small and very big stuff in her life. A heartfelt glimpse into Jewish family and mourning rituals written with empathy and, of course, humor.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “A heartfelt and expertly written tale of loss, family, and friendship that will have readers blinking back their tears…Beautiful and sincere.”
Quill & Quire
“There is a potent emotional openness throughout…An enlightening, delicately hopeful, and beautifully rendered story.”
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“Levy’s book treats her subject matter and her readers gently and with understanding...While the themes might be painful, the book is anything but sad, and it will give its readers some insight into grief as well some tools and suggestions for dealing with it in a proactive and positive way. Highly Recommended.”
Association of Jewish Libraries
“Though this may be a difficult read for some, the care in discussing death and dying, family, friendships, and survivors’ guilt results in a touching story that is a delight to cry through.”
School Library Connection
“Gentle and honest…Refreshing and will be valuable for readers no matter their religion. Purchase for elementary and middle school libraries and recommend to fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.
Jewish Book Council
“This impor­tant top­ic is sen­si­tive­ly han­dled, turn­ing an already excel­lent com­ing-of-age tale into an impor­tant addi­tion to the mid­dle grade bookshelf.”
“A sincere story about hope, healing, and a blooming friendship amid grief.”
School Library Journal
“This highly discussable novel navigates complex feelings gracefully... Despite the heavy topics this unique novel addresses, it features humor and warmth and characters young readers will care about.”

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