A book about love, loss, and the power of music, perfect for fans of Nick Hornby and Fangirl.
Taliah Sahar Abdallat lives and breathes music. Songs have always helped Tal ease the pain of never having known her father. Her mother, born in Jordan and very secretive about her past, won’t say a word about who her dad really was. But when Tal finds a shoebox full of old letters from Julian Oliver—yes, the indie rock star Julian Oliver—she begins to piece the story together.
She writes to Julian, but after three years of radio silence, she’s given up hope. Then one day, completely out of the blue, Julian shows up at her doorstep, and Tal doesn’t know whether to be furious or to throw herself into his arms. Before she can decide, he asks her to go on a trip with him to meet her long-estranged family and to say good-bye to his father, her grandfather, who is dying.
Getting to know your father after sixteen years of estrangement doesn’t happen in one car ride. But as Tal spends more time with Julian and his family, she begins to untangle her parents’ secret past, and discovers a part of herself she never recognized before.
By the acclaimed author of My Heart and Other Black Holes, this is an intergenerational story of family and legacy and the way love informs both of those things. It’s about secrets and the debt of silence. It’s about the power of songs. And most of all, it’s about learning how to say hello. And good-bye.
Jasmine Warga's debut middle grade book, Other Words for Home, is a Newbery Honor Book. She is the author of the novels for teens My Heart and Other Black Holes, which has been translated into over twenty languages, and Here We Are Now. She lives and writes in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can visit Jasmine online at www.jasminewarga.com.
“A well-executed family drama of the power of romantic and parental love, secrets, regrets, and new beginnings.” — Kirkus Reviews
“An intense family drama that will pull readers in with poignancy, romance, and grief over lost relationships, all set to the beat of scattered song lyrics woven nicely through the narrative.” — Booklist
“Intriguing, romantic, and honest, the book celebrates the new beginning that can emerge from tragic endings.” — Publishers Weekly
“This timely, multicultural novel hits all the right notes in the right ways” — Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
Praise for MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES: “At times poignant, bitter, and funny, this narrative captures [a] unique voice that questions what it means to die—and to live.” — Booklist (starred review)
“My Heart and Other Black Holes is alive with intensity, gut-wrenching honesty, moments of humor, and—of course—heart. This is an extraordinary debut by a striking new voice in YA fiction that left me in awe and moved beyond measure. Not to be missed.” — Nova Ren Suma, author of THE WALLS AROUND US
“With high intelligence and a massiveness of heart, Warga gifts us with a novel that has the music of Mozart, the logic of advanced physics, and the vision to see the link between them. This is something utterly new, a book that is kinetic and beautiful and unexpectedly life-affirming.” — Chris Lynch, National Book Award Finalist for Inexcusable and Michael L. Printz Honor-winner for Freewill
Praise for MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES: “[The book] addresses serious issues with complexity and humor . . . thoughtfully presented.” — School Library Journal
Praise for MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES: “Earnest and heartfelt . . . any teen who’s ever felt like an outsider will be able to relate to Aysel’s and Roman’s fully realized characters.” — Kirkus Reviews
Praise for MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES: “Debut novelist Warga addresses adolescent depression and suicide with honesty and grace” — Publishers Weekly
Praise for MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES: “Debut author Warga unflinchingly tackles the grim subject matter with empathy, sensitivity, and honesty, without trivializing her protagonists’ disturbing thoughts or emotions . . . [with an] utterly endearing romance.” — The Horn Book
Praise for MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES: “Warga delves honestly into the very difficult issues of teenage depression…sometimes sad, sometimes funny, but ultimately filled with hope.” — Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)