Things That Surprise You (Hardcover)
Balzer + Bray, 9780062438928, 288pp.
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
A poignant, charming middle grade novel, perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish and Fish in a Tree. A beautifully layered story about navigating the often shifting bonds of family and friendship, and learning how to put the pieces back together when things fall apart.
Emily Murphy is about to enter middle school. She's sort of excited…though not nearly as much as her best friend Hazel, who is ready for everything to be new. Emily wishes she and Hazel could just continue on as they always have, being the biggest fans ever of the Unicorn Chronicles, making up dance moves, and getting their regular order at The Slice.
But things are changing. At home, Emily and her mom are learning to move on after her parents' divorce. Hardest of all, her beloved sister Mina has been in a treatment facility to deal with her anorexia. Emily is eager to have her back, but anxious about her sister getting sick again.
Hazel is changing too. She has new friends from the field hockey team, is starting to wear makeup, and have crushes on boys. Emily is trying to keep up, but she keeps doing and saying the wrong thing. She wants to be the perfect new Emily. But who is that really?
Praise For Things That Surprise You…
— Kirkus Reviews
“Recommended for middle grade collections, especially for readers with friends or family members dealing with eating disorders.”
— School Library Journal
“A highly devourable novel at once honest, heartbreaking, and hilarious. Emily Murphy is all of us, striving to discover the best versions of ourselves in a world where change is never easy and often unavoidable, but worth it in the end.”
— John David Anderson, author of Ms. Bixby's Last Day
“Thoughtful and original”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Praise for THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF CHARLIE PRICE: “What a beautiful book Jen Maschari has written—a brave and big-hearted exploration of the sustaining power of friendship and the infinite treasure of memory our loved ones give us.”
— Anne Ursu, author of Breadcrumbs and The Real Boy
Praise for THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF CHARLIE PRICE: “Beautifully crafted sentences read almost as if they were poetry...Fans of both fantasy and realistic fiction will appreciate this painful but ultimately triumphant, multilayered novel.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)
Praise for THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF CHARLIE PRICE: “A beautifully written meditation on grief … Reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.”