For fans of John Green and Emily X.R. Pan, The Half-Orphan's Handbook by Joan F. Smith is a coming-of-age story and an empathetic, authentic exploration of grief with a sharp sense of humor and a big heart.
It’s been three months since Lila lost her father to suicide. Since then, she’s learned to protect herself from pain by following two unbreakable rules:
1. The only people who can truly hurt you are the ones you love. Therefore, love no one.
2. Stay away from liars. Liars are the worst.
But when Lila’s mother sends her to a summer-long grief camp, it’s suddenly harder for Lila to follow these rules. Potential new friends and an unexpected crush threaten to drag her back into life for the first time since her dad’s death.
On top of everything, there’s more about what happened that Lila doesn’t know, and facing the truth about her family will be the hardest part of learning how a broken heart can love again.
An Imprint Book
About the Author
Joan F. Smith is the author of The Half-Orphan's Handbook. She lives with her family in Massachusetts, where she works as an associate dean, a creative writing professor, and a dance instructor. She received her MFA in creative writing from Emerson College, and has written articles for The Washington Post and Thought Catalog on destigmatizing discussions around mental health and suicide prevention.
"A tender, honest exploration of finding a way through the impossible." —Kirkus
"This debut novel’s believable characters make plain that suffering the loss of a loved one while young is difficult, and common." —School Library Journal
"A beautifully written, funny, heart brimming story about a young woman's tragic loss, the hard work and grace of healing and the irrepressible force of love." —Francisco X. Stork, award-winning author of The Memory of Light
"The Half-Orphan’s Handbook is a masterclass in prose and character. Laugh and cry along with Lila and Noah as they navigate the complex space between tragedy and hope. Moving. Important. Beautiful.” —Laura Taylor Namey, author of A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow