a shot at normal
Dr. Villapando told me to get a good attorney. He wasn’t serious. But I am. I’m going to sue my parents.
Juniper Jade’s parents are hippies. They didn’t attend the first Woodstock, but they were there for the second one. The Jade family lives an all-organic home school lifestyle that means no plastics, no cell phones, and no vaccines. It isn’t exactly normal, but it’s the only thing Juniper has ever known. She doesn’t agree with her parents on everything, but she knows that to be in this family, you’ve got to stick to the rules. That is, until the unthinkable happens.
Juniper contracts the measles and unknowingly passes the disease along, with tragic consequences. She is shell-shocked. Juniper knows she is responsible and feels simultaneously helpless and furious at her parents, and herself.
Now, with the help of Nico, the boy who works at the library and loves movies and may just be more than a friend, Juniper comes to a decision: she is going to get vaccinated. Her parents refuse so Juniper arms herself with a lawyer and prepares for battle. But is waging war for her autonomy worth losing her family? How much is Juniper willing to risk for a shot at normal?
Marisa Reichardt has written a powerful and timely novel about justice, agency, family, and taking your shot, even when it seems impossible.
“A sweet romance with Nico, a boy she meets at the library, keeps the tone breezy and the story moving along at a good pace. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and news stories about the rise in anti-vaccination movements, this novel presents a timely and important examination of the role of personal responsibility in public health in addition to including a thoughtful discussion about bodily autonomy.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Told in a linear narrative from summer until spring, Juniper’s moral quandary and lived experiences fill vividly episodic and succinct chapters. VERDICT As readers live with coronavirus and newfound knowledge of communicable disease, this timely novel deftly explores issues of vaccination, misinformation, how personal medical choices can affect others, and the time-tested theme of belonging outside of the family unit.” ―School Library Journal
“Reichardt (Aftershocks, 2020) makes a complex, hot-button subject accessible while still maintaining nuance . . . Socially conscious teens will enjoy this story of a girl finding her power and taking a big issue into her own hands despite the mature structures that stand in her way.” ―Booklist
“Reichardt makes no bones about which side she’s on but nonetheless renders Juniper’s parents with sympathy and dimension, while Juniper’s arguments make important broader points about her parents’ position of privilege . . . This is an accessible exploration that gives heart to an often abstract issue, and readers will be eager for post-read discussion.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (BCCB)
A gripping YA novel about two strangers struggling to survive a massive California earthquake
When a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits California, Ruby is trapped in a laundromat with Charlie, a boy she had her first conversation with only moments before. She can’t see anything beyond the rubble that she’s trapped beneath, but she’s sure someone will come save them soon. As the hours and days tick by, Ruby and Charlie struggle to stay hopeful—and stay alive. Ruby has only Charlie’s voice and her memories to find the hope to keep holding on. Will the two make it out alive? And if they do, what will they have lost to the earthquake? Riveting, tense, and emotionally complex, Aftershocks weaves together the terror and hope of a catastrophic event while showing the ways that disasters can change and unite us.
“This is a thrilling, provocative, and empowering look at fighting for survival while remembering the important things in life, like friendship, family. and love.” —Booklist
“This is an inspiring and complex survival story that examines self-doubt, addiction, loss, love, and the human condition.” —School Library Journal
After a tragedy, she feels like she’s stuck underwater.
Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive—first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself. But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school. When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.
Purchase now from your favorite bookstore.
• An Indies Introduce title for winter/spring 2016
• A Kids’ Indie Next Top 10 pick for winter 2015-2016
• Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2017
• A 2018 High School Sequoyah Masterlist selection from the Oklahoma Library Association
• ABC Best Books for Young Readers, 2016
• Publishers Weekly starred review
• ALAN Pick for April/May 2016
• Ten of the Best New Young Adult Novels in January from Paste Magazine
• Winter 2015 Unputdownable Young Adult Pick from Bookish
• Most Anticipated January 2016 Release from B&N Teen Blog
“[Morgan’s] anxiety issues are completely fleshed out as the engaging plot pushes onward, gathering momentum until the very end.”—RT Book Reviews
“Marisa Reichardt’s novel packs an emotional punch, tackling PTSD and trauma through a complex and heartbreaking story.”—Paste Magazine
“A modern gem for the modern world. . . ” —Lancashire Evening Post
“Debut author Reichardt doesn’t oversimplify: Morgan isn’t saved by love; rather, new neighbor Evan reminds her of life and what it’s like to have a friend…As Evan, who has his own connection to the shooting, tells her, what he likes about Morgan is that she’s real, and that’s exactly what readers will appreciate about this book.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A moving, reflective exploration of grief, trauma, and how individuals find their paths toward resilience.”—Kirkus
“Debut author Reichardt smartly reveals the source of Morgan’s agoraphobia– a school shooting– very gradually, which, along with the sweet romance with Evan, urges the plot forward. Morgan’s… story of growth and redemption will be rewarding for readers who love character-driven novels.”—Booklist
Part problem novel, part romance, Reichardt’s debut never becomes melodramatic, even when there is plenty of drama. The main character’s emotional growth and healing, her work with her psychologist, and even her changing role in her unusual family dynamics never feel contrived. VERDICT: Readers will enjoy the emotional balance Reichardt gives to the high stakes conflicts in a teen’s life.”—School Library Journal
“Reichardt’s remarkable debut novel . . . is a sensitive and inspirational exploration of the aftermath of tragedy and of a young woman’s grief and guilt.” —Voya
“This novel is a powerful look at grief, mental illness, trust, forgiveness, letting go, and moving on. This should make your TBR list because of its strong writing, its examination of PTSD and panic disorders, and its hopeful approach toward therapy and recovery.” —Teen Librarian Toolbox
“A tender and appealing romance, it would also make a thoughtful complement to the many books about school shootings to illuminate the effects that last beyond the horrible day.”—BCCB