Dear Hank Williams (Paperback)

By Kimberly Willis Holt

Square Fish, 9781250079787, 240pp.

Publication Date: May 10, 2016

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (4/14/2015)
Prebound (5/10/2016)

List Price: 7.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


It's 1948 in Rippling Creek, Louisiana, and Tate P. Ellerbee's new teacher has just given her class an assignment—learning the art of letter-writing. Luckily, Tate has the perfect pen pal in mind: Hank Williams, a country music singer whose star has just begun to rise. Tate and her great-aunt and -uncle listen to him on the radio every Saturday night, and Tate just knows that she and Hank are kindred spirits.

Told entirely through Tate's hopeful letters, Dear Hank Williams is a beautifully drawn novel from National Book Award–winning author Kimberly Willis Holt that gradually unfolds a story of family love, overcoming tragedy, and an insightful girl learning to find her voice. This title has Common Core connections.

About the Author

Twenty three years ago Kimberly Willis Holt stopped talking about wanting to be a writer and started to pursue her dream. Because of her family's Louisiana roots she considers herself a southerner, but her father's military career took her to places beyond the South, including Paris and Guam.

She's the author of nineteen books for a wide range of ages, many of which have won awards and honors. Her third novel, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Her latest title is a middle grade novel, Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel. She writes and gardens in Texas.

Praise For Dear Hank Williams

An Amazon Best Book of the Year
A VOYA Perfect Ten

“The strength of this novel lies in the insight Tate develops as she deals with tragedy and depends on the love of family. VERDICT Artfully told, this middle grade novel pleases on many levels.” —Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH, School Library Journal

“Soulful and satisfying.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This book packs more emotional power than 90% of the so-called grown-up novels taking up precious space on bookshelves around the country.” —USA Today on When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

“Holt may not take her readers on wild flights of fantasy, but her quiet novel offers a slice of life that's hard to resist.” —The New York Times Book Review on When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

“In her own down-to-earth, people, smart way, Holt offers a gift. . . . It is a lovely--at times even giddy--date with real life.” —The Horn Book, starred review on When Zachary Beaver Came to Town

“An unusually auspicious debut.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review on My Louisiana Sky

“This lyrical first novel brings fresh perspective to the guilt and anger and caring that surround the mentally disabled. All the characters . . . are drawn with warmth but no patronizing reverence.” —Booklist, starred review on My Louisiana Sky

“Evocative . . . haunting . . . magic.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review on Keeper of the Night

“Beautifully written.” —School Library Journal, starred review on Keeper of the Night