A middle grade debut that's a heartrending coming-of-age tale, perfect for fans of Bridge to Terabithia and Counting By 7s.
Eleven-year-old Riley believes in the whispers, magical fairies that will grant you wishes if you leave them tributes. Riley has a lot of wishes. He wishes bullies at school would stop picking on him. He wishes Dylan, his 8th grade crush, liked him, and Riley wishes he would stop wetting the bed. But most of all, Riley wishes for his mom to come back home. She disappeared a few months ago, and Riley is determined to crack the case. He even meets with a detective, Frank, to go over his witness statement time and time again.
Frustrated with the lack of progress in the investigation, Riley decides to take matters into his own hands. So he goes on a camping trip with his friend Gary to find the whispers and ask them to bring his mom back home. But Riley doesn't realize the trip will shake the foundation of everything that he believes in forever.
About the Author
Greg Howard was born and raised in the South Carolina Lowcountry, where his love of words and stories blossomed at a young age. Originally set on becoming a famous songwriter, Greg followed that dream to the bright lights of Nashville, Tennessee, and spent years producing the music of others before eventually returning to his childhood passion of writing stories. Greg writes young-adult and middle-grade novels focusing on LGBTQ characters and issues. He has an unhealthy obsession with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and currently resides in Nashville with his three rescued fur babies--Molly, Toby, and Riley.
Connect with Greg at www.greghowardbooks.com or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @greghowardbooks
Praise for The Whispers:
“This taut, moving tale delves beyond loss into issues of sexuality, conformity and self-acceptance…a masterful exploration into the power of storytelling but also its dangers, including self-denial and escapism.” —The New York Times Book Review
“With sensitivity and skill, Howard handles themes of sexual identity, self-worth, loss and friendship.” —The Washington Post
"Howard’s personal story helps create a fictional narrative both realistic and relevant, while also calling on the fantastical magic of the imagination…. A tale of family, friendship and loss, filled with magic and heart." —Associated Press
"A dreamy novel recalling Bridge to Terabithia." —Entertainment Weekly
"A heartbreaking, beguiling debut… This poignant journey through the badlands of grief is crammed with tenderness, wit and warmth." —The Guardian
★ "This is a story of a boy coming to grips with heartbreak and trying to understand why he is the way he is, who must learn to discern what is real, and who discovers redemption." —School Library Connection, starred review
"A beautiful, heart-expanding journey into the wilds of grief and back out again. This gorgeous book will give readers’ hearts a hug that’s filled with hope and possibility."—Donna Gephart, author of In Your Shoes and Lily and Dunkin
"A moving, thoughtful examination of trauma, grief, and the power of imagination." —Teen Librarian Toolbox
"A beautiful, heartfelt book about love and loss and friendship. It feels real and true and resonant. Bravo, Greg Howard!" —Dan Gemeinhart, author of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
"The Whispers needs to be on every reading list of kids who loved Bridge to Terabithia and Counting by 7s." —B&N Kids Blog
"A realistic tale of coming to terms and coming-of-age, of friendship and loss, with a touch of magic and humor."—Kirkus Reviews
"We’re predicting this emotional story will be an award winner." —Parents Magazine
"A touching story of grief and healing." —Booklist
"This touching, often wry novel offers a memorable psychological puzzle and explores grief and acceptance." —Publishers Weekly
"[Riley’s] a thoroughly sympathetic [narrator], and it’s easy to root for his eventual understanding of the truth—and of his own blamelessness." —The Horn Book Magazine
"An inspired and sensitive portrait of childhood traumatic grief." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"Riley’s voice is so wise and funny and compelling that readers—especially but not exclusively young ones—will gladly follow him on the kind of harrowing, hilarious journey that shows us we can survive the heartbreak and the beauty the world has in store for us." —Sam J. Miller, author of The Art of Starving and Blackfish City
"A thrill ride to the soul. Gorgeously written, full of depth and wit." —James Brandon, author of Ziggy, Stardust and Me