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Critically acclaimed Tracy Holczer returns with a heartrending tale about a girl descended from the Grimm brothers who sets out to break what she thinks is a family curse.
Twelve-year-old Juni is convinced her family is cursed. Long ago, her ancestors, the Grimm Brothers, offended a witch who cursed them and their descendants to suffer through their beloved fairy tales over and over again--to be at the mercy of extreme luck, both good and bad. Juni fears any good luck allotted to her family she used up just by being born, so when she wakes up in the middle of the night with the horrible feeling like antlers are growing from her head, she knows something is wrong. The next day she learns her older brother Connor has gone missing during his tour in Afghanistan.
Her family begins grieving his loss in their own ways but Juni can't help but believe that his disappearance means the family curse has struck again. Juni is convinced the only way to bring her brother home is to break the family curse and so she sets out on a quest to do just that.
From Charlotte Huck honoree Tracy Holczer comes a stunning new novel about the power of stories, the enormity of grief, and the brilliancy of hope.
About the Author
Tracy Holczer is the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Secret Hum of a Daisy and Everything Else in the Universe. She has a deep love for the mountains where she grew up, the lakes and rivers that crisscrossed her childhood, so she writes them into her stories. Tracy Holczer currently lives in Southern California with her family and a variety of cats.
Praise for Brave in the Woods:
A 2022-2023 Camellia Children’s Choice Book Award Nominee (AL)
★ “This is a beautiful tale of love and grief, friendship and family, and of hope. . . Give this to readers who loved Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Kate Allen’s The Line Tender. . . Holczer’s use of humor, thoughtful imagery, and magical realism elements makes this a wholly unique blend of modern fairy tale, hero’s quest, and coming-of-age story. A suggested purchase for all middle grade collections.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“Holczer’s clear, gentle prose allows the emotional and descriptive elements of the text to shine in this multilayered road-trip story . . . A thoughtful exploration of grief, family lore, and human connection.” —Kirkus Reviews
“By turns heartbreaking and humorous, this is a story that hints at the possibility of magic while remaining rooted in real-world problems and relationships. There is love and hope amid the grief and confusion, just as the Grimm tales contain both wonders and horrors in their own right. A heartfelt lesson on the power of love and the tales we tell ourselves.” —Booklist
“Holczer has crafted another heartrending story of familial loss, grief, and healing. . . The imagery-rich text . . . [and] well-developed secondary characters help readers better understand Juni and the relationships she cherishes, while supporting her journey toward accepting the truth and finally letting go.” —The Horn Book
Praise for Everything Else in the Universe:
A South Carolina Junior Book Award Nominee – 2020-2021
An ILA Teachers’ Choices Reading List – 2019
A Charlotte Huck Honoree – 2019
★“A resonant historical novel and a thoughtful exploration of how war and injury affect family, friendships, and individual growth.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The novel introduces a nuanced view of the Vietnam War to readers…This is a quiet, tender work of historical fiction about grief, love, and learning to let go…A worthy addition to any middle grade collection.” —School Library Journal
“Heartbreakingly poignant…the portrait of two children maturing with grace and tolerance is triumphant.” —Horn Book Magazine
Praise for The Secret Hum of a Daisy:
A Summer 2014 Kids' Indie Next Pick!
★ "A lovely and captivating debut . . . Holczer writes with depth, heart, and a poetic lilt . . . nuanced characters engage from beginning to end."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ "Holczer expertly crafts the characters and dialogue to create a story readers will identify with, and thoroughly enjoy… More than simply a book about grief and the death of a parent, Grace’s story is about the search for identity. An essential purchase for middle-grade collections."—School Library Journal, starred review