North of Everything
By Craig Crist-Evans
(Candlewick, Hardcover, 9780763620981, 80pp.)
Publication Date: September 9, 2004
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In this gentle, poignant novel-in-verse, the acclaimed author of AMARYLLIS tells a family tale that is infused with joy, heartbreak, and hope.
Dad's spirit lives
in every blade of grass,
in every tree, in all the ways
we learn to keep on breathing.
A new beginning and a simpler life — that's what Mom and Dad and their young son are looking for when they move north of everything, leaving the city life of Miami for a farm in Montpelier, Vermont. And that's what they find, among a hundred peaceful acres of fields and pastures hugging the banks of the Winooski River. But even as the now-rural family takes careful note of the changing seasons, they encounter their own unexpected series of beginnings and endings. Craig Crist-Evans's spare, lyrical novel will speak to anyone who has experienced change and loss, and who has faced the struggle — and found the spirit to carry on.
Craig Crist-Evans published poems, articles, essays, and reviews in numerous journals. He was also the author of AMARYLLIS and MOON OVER TENNESSEE: A BOY'S CIVIL WAR JOURNAL, for which he received the International Reading Association's Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award. He also taught English and directed the Writing Center at Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania before he passed away in 2005. Craig Crist-Evans said, "NORTH OF EVERYTHING is my attempt to portray the changes one boy and his family experience -- through the shifting seasons and in their own lives -- that lead them to a humble acceptance of both beauty and loss in the world."