But now Mom is gone. She and Janie, Cara's little sister, died in a house fire while Cara was spending the night with her best friend, Marlee. Only Dad survived.
How did her father escape the fire? And why did God spare Cara and take the people most precious to her? As Cara struggles with her grief, she questions God's role in her life, and for the first time her faith is shaken.
Dad is too stricken to talk, and after a while Marlee seems to run out of sympathy. It's up to Cara to heal her heart and find a way to move on.
Brenda A. Ferber's first novel, a study in loss, doubt, and acceptance, is also a hymn to life and a joyous tribute to the resiliency of the human spirit.
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Awards and Praise:
Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner 2007
Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year 2007
VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers 2006
Junior Library Guild Selection 2006
"The emotions are real, the protagonist empathetic, and the resolution believable. Poignant."
Starred, Kirkus Reviews
"Real, raw emotion emanates from this affecting debut novel. A heartrending tale of loss and healing."
"Readers will appreciate the book's poignant and sympathetic depiction of bereavement and its hopeful message of a legacy that can transcend separation."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Touching and authentic... major themes about grief and healing are beautifully addressed in what turns out to be a powerful debut novel."
"The novel's brevity and honesty will appeal to both Jewish and non-Jewish girls."
School Library Journal
"Told with grace and humor, this story, with its focus on family and friendship, transcends its difficult content."
The Horn Book Guide
"Well-drawn, life-affirming characters and a point of view that emphasizes human resilience over despair."
Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter
"Ferber writes with the ease and sensitivity of a veteran as she beautifully conveys Cara's passage from grief and doubts about the existence of God to an understanding of what she must do to move on."
Jewish Woman Magazine