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Far from the Tree
Cover of Far from the Tree
Far from the Tree
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National Book Award Winner and New York Times Bestseller!Perfect for fans of NBC's "This Is Us," Robin Benway's beautiful interweaving story of three very different teenagers connected by blood...
National Book Award Winner and New York Times Bestseller!Perfect for fans of NBC's "This Is Us," Robin Benway's beautiful interweaving story of three very different teenagers connected by blood...
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Description-

  • National Book Award Winner and New York Times Bestseller!

    Perfect for fans of NBC's "This Is Us," Robin Benway's beautiful interweaving story of three very different teenagers connected by blood explores the meaning of family in all its forms—how to find it, how to keep it, and how to love it.

    Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

    But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

    Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she's quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family's long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can't help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

    And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he's learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can't hurt anyone but him.

    Don't miss this moving novel that addresses such important topics as adoption, teen pregnancy, and foster care.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Robin Benway is the acclaimed author of the Also Known As series; Audrey, Wait!; and The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June. Benway's books have been published in sixteen languages, have won international awards, and have been bestsellers in several countries. Formerly a bookseller and book publicist, she lives in Los Angeles.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 7, 2017
    In an equally heartwarming and heart-wrenching story, three siblings separated in infancy find each other as teens. Grace, who has always known she was adopted, first learns of her brother, Joaquin, and sister, Maya, while unsuccessfully searching for her birth mother during a tumultuous junior year. Her open-minded adoptive parents support a reunion, and the siblings’ initial meeting is a success. During subsequent visits, they discover the things they have in common, as well as some painful secrets. Joaquin’s childhood has not been as happy as Grace’s has been, and his deep-rooted fears are affecting his current relationships. Maya’s home life has become chaotic due to fights and alcohol abuse, and Grace knows firsthand how difficult it is to put a baby up for adoption. Writing in a shifting third-person narrative that is both nonjudgmental and deeply empathetic, Benway (Emmy & Oliver) delves into the souls of these characters as they wrestle to overcome feelings of inadequacy, abandonment, and betrayal, gradually coming to understand themselves and each other. Ages 13–up. Agent: Lisa Grubka, Fletcher & Company.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2017

    Gr 8 Up-Only child Grace was adopted at birth; when she finds herself placing her own daughter up for adoption, she begins searching for the bio family she's never known. She quickly discovers that she is a middle child, sandwiched between loudmouth younger sister Maya and older brother Joaquin, who has spent nearly his entire life in the foster care system. As Grace struggles to move forward from the loss of her daughter, she begins to bond with her siblings who have hardships of their own. Maya's adoptive family is not as picture-perfect as they seem, and Joaquin is on the cusp of something wonderful but is afraid it could all end in disaster. The siblings find themselves turning to one another and learning that family comes in many forms. Benway has created three unique and endearing characters who have experienced adoption in very different ways. Grace's story will pull at heartstrings, while Maya is relatable as a teen struggling with her relationships with her family and girlfriend Claire. Joaquin is scared and rough around the edges. With a well-imagined cast of secondary characters who add angst, humor, and depth, Benway adeptly leads readers through a tale of love, loss, and self-discovery. Expect to cry real tears at this one. VERDICT Well-written and accessible, this is a must-purchase for all YA collections.-Erica Deb, Matawan Aberdeen Public Library, NJ

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from August 15, 2017
    Placing her daughter for adoption left a hole in Grace's heart; her adoptive parents can't fill it, and her birth mother's unreachable--then Grace learns she has siblings. Maya, 15, a year younger than Grace, was adopted by wealthy parents 13 months before their biological daughter, Lauren, arrived. Joaquin, nearly 18, a survivor of 17 failed foster-care placements and one failed adoption, is troubled when his current foster parents express a wish to adopt him. Grace reaches out, and the siblings soon bond. All--Maya especially, standing out in a family of redheads--are grateful to meet others with dark hair (only Joaquin identifies not as white but Latino) and weird food preferences (French fries with mayo). Still, each keeps secrets. Maya discusses her girlfriend but not her mother's secret drinking; Joaquin edits out his failed adoption; Grace, her pregnancy and daughter's birth. It hurts that her siblings have zero interest in tracking down the mom who gave them away, yet Grace persists. Chapters alternate through their third-person perspectives, straightforward structure and syntax delivering accessibility without sacrificing nuance or complexity. Family issues are neither airbrushed nor oversimplified (as the ambiguous title suggests). These are multifaceted characters, shaped by upbringing as well as their genes, in complicated families. Absent birthparents matter, as do bio siblings: when their parents separate, Lauren fears Maya will abandon her for her "real" siblings. From the first page to the last, this compassionate, funny, moving, compulsively readable novel about what makes a family gets it right. (Fiction. 13-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) ★ "Family issues are neither airbrushed nor oversimplified. From the first page to the last, this compassionate, funny, moving, compulsively readable novel about what makes a family gets it right."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) ★ "Equally heartwarming and heart-wrenching... Benway (Emmy & Oliver) delves into the souls of these characters as they wrestle to overcome feelings of inadequacy, abandonment, and betrayal, gradually coming to understand themselves and each other."
  • Brightly.com "Far from the Tree dives deep into themes of heartbreak and love, and presents a profound, emotional meditation on what it means to be family."
  • Ally Condie, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of the Matched trilogy "Far from the Tree is the kind of book that strikes close to a reader's heart. I had to know what happened to Grace, Maya, and Joaquin, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Beautiful."
  • Brandy Colbert, author of Pointe and Little & Lion "Far from the Tree is a touching story about the strength and love of unconventional families, and the unbreakable bond of siblings near and far. Robin Benway's characters are authentically crafted, full of heart, hurt, and hope."
  • Morgan Matson, author of Since You've Been Gone PRAISE FOR EMMY & OLIVER: "Emmy & Oliver is wonderful. Funny, heartbreaking, and true... just like life. Robin Benway has written characters I felt like I'd known forever, and was so sad to see go. A must read."
  • Stephanie Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Isla and the Happily Ever After Stephanie Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Isla and the Happily Ever After Stephanie Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Isla and the Happily "Robin Benway writes with her full heart. Emmy & Oliver is a genuinely sweet and funny novel bursting with the inextinguishable forces of love—between parents and children, distant and inseparable friends, new and reunited lovers."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) ★ "Benway examines split loyalties, the impact of confessionals, and how broken bonds can be mended. Benway's intriguing premise and honest tone are a winning combination as she movingly portrays the growing trust between her characters."
  • School Library Journal (starred review) ★ "At times heartfelt, funny, irreverent, and ultimately satisfying... a good choice for fans of Stephanie Perkins's Anna and the French Kiss or any of Sarah Dessen's novels."
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books "Emmy's narration is smart and sassy, and the romance plot is satisfying... An unusual blend of a soulmate story, a melodramatic plot, and a realistic book about adjustment, growth, and change, this will please romance fans as well as pragmatic souls with a sentimental streak."

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