After Zero by Christina CollinsAfter Zero by Christina Collins

After Zero

byChristina Collins

Hardcover | September 4, 2018

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Powerful and poetic." -John David Anderson, author of Posted and Ms. Bixby's Last DayElise carries a notebook full of tallies, each page marking a day spent at her new public school, each stroke of her pencil marking a word spoken. A word that can't be taken back. Five tally marks isn't so bad. Two is pretty good. But zero? Zero is perfect. Zero means no wrong answers called out in class, no secrets accidentally spilled, no conversations to agonize overat night when sleep is far away.But now months have passed, and Elise isn't sure she could speak even if she wanted to-not to keep her only friend, Mel, from drifting further away-or to ask if anyone else has seen her English teacher's stuffed raven come to life. Then, the discovery of a shocking family secret helps Elise realize that her silence might just be the key to unlocking everything she's ever hoped for? Praise for After Zero:"This tender and truthful book stays with you long after the words have gone." -Patricia Forde, author of The List"A must read. After Zero reminds us of so many loved ones of those suffering from anxiety or depressive disorders. It is a story that will hopefully foster empathy and maybe even communication with our 'quiet' peers." -Wesley King, author of OCDaniel"
Christina Collins grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Northern Ireland, where she's always on the lookout for castle ruins and secret gardens. She holds an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University and is pursuing a PhD in creative writing at Queen's University Belfast. She has taught at both universities and has been ...
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Title:After ZeroFormat:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 7.97 × 6.02 × 0.92 inPublished:September 4, 2018Publisher:SourcebooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1492655325

ISBN - 13:9781492655329

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Mature middle grade read Elise is a young girl who is being raised by a distant and (thought to be) unloving mother. Her father was killed when she was very young by drunk driver. Elise had a very sheltered childhood – she was homeschooled by her mother (barely) and has very limited contact with the outside world. She finally made a friend with a girl from the neighbourhood named Mel when she was about 7. Elise was so sheltered that she didn’t even know what a birthday or a birthday party was until she made friends with Mel. The story starts after she has somehow convinced her mother to enrol her in public school and it follows her as she has been going there for 6-7 months. It shows the struggles that she has fitting in and adapting to her new surroundings and peer group. She decides to speak as little as she can until she can figure out how to exist in this new world – but once she gets a handle on it she finds herself unable to stop tallying her words hoping to get to zero. This is a very interesting look at social dynamics, peer pressures, bullying/mean girl mentality, and selective mutism. It also has a supernatural element that makes you wonder through out the story. This book would be suitable for older middle grades – ages 11-14. This was provided for review from netgalley.
Date published: 2018-08-17

Editorial Reviews

"A powerful and poetic novel about the power of words to shape who we are and who we can be. Elise's journey will speak to anyone who has struggled to find their voice, overcome their doubts, and discover their own self worth." - John David Anderson, author of Granted and Posted"After Zero takes us into the world of selective mutism and helps us find a story in the silence. For an interconnected generation that can sometimes assume silence is ignorance or a personal slight, this is a must read. Readers will take to Elise right away: she is smart and earnest, and like many of us, social norms can elude her. The story moves along quickly to broach themes of forgiveness and friendship. But most importantly, it reminds us of so many loved ones of those suffering from anxiety or depressive disorders who want to shout, 'Just speak! Just say something! Just be normal!' Now we get to walk with Elise and understand her struggles. It is a story that will hopefully foster empathy and maybe even communication with all our 'quiet' peers." - Wesley King, author of OCDaniel"An eloquent journey through the pain of growing up, this tender and truthful book stays with you long after the words have gone." - Patricia Forde, author of The List