Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Phoenix Rising

Phoenix Rising

Karen Hesse

Square Fish

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Nyle's life with her grandmother on their Vermont sheep farm advances rhythmically through the seasons until the night of the accident at the Cookshire nuclear power plant. Without warning, Nyle's modest world fills with protective masks, evacuations, contaminated food, disruptions, and mistrust.

Nyle adjusts to the changes. As long as the fallout continues blowing to the East, Nyle, Gran, and the farm can go on. But into this uncertain haven stumble Ezra Trent and his mother, "refugees" from the heart of the accident, who take temporary shelter in the back bedroom of Nyle's house.

The back bedroom is the dying room: It took her mother when Nyle was six; it stole away her grandfather just two years ago. Now Ezra is back there and Nyle doesn't want to open her heart to him. Too many times she's let people in, only to have them desert her.

Karen Hesse's voice and vision are grounded in truth; she takes on a nearly unharnessable subject, contains it, and makes it resonate with honesty. Part love story, part coming of age, Phoenix Rising is a tour de force by a gifted writer.

School Library Best Books of the Year, NYPL Books for the Teen Age, South Carolina Children's Book Award, ALA Notable Children's Books, IRA Teachers' Choices, Texas Lone Star Reading List, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, IRA Young Adult Choices

EXCERPT

PHOENIX RISING (Chapter One)
Snapping my arm forward, I winged a stone toward the woods. It fell short of Ripley Powers's dog, Tyrus. I meant it to fall short. I had no wish to hurt the dog, only to chase him off.

"Get on home!" I yelled...

Reviews

Praise for Phoenix Rising

“After a catastrophic accident at a nuclear power plant not far from their small New England sheep farm, 13-year-old Nyle Sumner and her grandmother slowly discover they have been spared from direct radiation.... The author's understated approach heightens the emotional impact of her searching and memorable tale.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Hesse transcends the specific to illuminate universal questions of responsibility, care, and love. . . . Hesse portrays her characters' anguish and their growing tenderness with such unwavering clarity and grace that she sustains the tension of her lyrical, understated narrative right to her stunning, beautifully wrought conclusion.” —Kirkus Reviews, Pointer

“The characters overcome adversity, not through heroic deeds of epic proportions, but through simple acts of kindness. The message is poignant, but not overpowering. Hesse has displayed considerable skill in creating a contemporary tale of hope and love rising, like a phoenix, from destruction and despair.” —School Library Journal, Starred Review

“Hesse in Phoenix Rising deals with the effects of a leak at a nuclear plant, a young girl's awakening sexuality, the meaning of friendship, the strength of family ties, and the courage to love--and she does this with a grace and power that could make her novel ‘a favorite' with younger teens.” —Voice of Youth Advocates

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Karen Hesse

Karen Hesse is the author of many books for young people, including Out of the Dust, winner of the Newbery Medal, Letters from Rifka, Brooklyn Bridge, Sable and Lavender. She has received honors including the Scott O'Dell Historical Fiction Award, the Christopher Award, and the MacArthur Fellowship "Genius" Award, making her only the second children's book author to receive this prestigious grant. Born in Baltimore, Hesse graduated from the University of Maryland. She and her husband Randy live in Vermont.

Karen Hesse

Karen Hesse

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