The author of Orphan Island returns with an unforgettable story about the friendships that show us what we can be.
The school year is over, and it is summer in Atlanta. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, and the days brim with possibility. But Leah feels…lost. She has been this way since one terrible afternoon a year ago, when everything changed. Since that day, her parents have become distant, her friends have fallen away, and Leah’s been adrift and alone.
Then she meets Jasper, a girl unlike anyone she has ever known. There’s something mysterious about Jasper, almost magical. And Jasper, Leah discovers, is also lost. Together, the two girls carve out a place for themselves, a hideaway in the overgrown spaces of Atlanta, away from their parents and their hardships. A place only they can find, where no one else even exists.
But as the days of this magical June draw to a close and the darker realities of their lives intrude once more, Leah and Jasper have to decide how real their friendship is, and whether it can be enough to save them both.
Laurel Snyder is the author of picture books and novels for children, including the National Book Award nominee Orphan Island and the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner Charlie & Mouse. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she currently teaches in the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program at Hamline University. Laurel lives in Atlanta with her family and can be found online at www.laurelsnyder.com.
Snyder tackles heavy topics (death and grief, abuse and homelessness) straightforwardly in this coming-of-age story. Her adept characterization of Jasper, whose hope and sincerity are palpable, offers buoyancy, and the joyful, almost ethereal friendship the two girls form is refreshingly and intensely honest. Snyder maintains a languid, unhurried pace that evokes the lazy days of summer and crescendos in a meaningful, bittersweet ending. A candid story about two teens who find solace and strength in each other.
- Publishers Weekly
This book is a treasure—a touching story of friendship, loss, and finding beauty in the every day, with characters who stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. I absolutely loved it.
- R. J. Palacio, New York Times-bestselling author of WONDER
With echoes of Bridge to Terabithia, a nuanced exploration of the tension between enchantment and reality.
- Kirkus Reviews
Honest and beautiful, My Jasper June shows us what real friendship makes possible in the face of the impossible.
- Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me
Unflinchingly true and hopeful at once, My Jasper June gives us a friendship so intense and magical, we feel lucky to be there for every gut-wrenching minute of it. Snyder is a truly wonderful writer.
- Emily Jenkins, New York Times bestselling author of Brave Red, Smart Frog
Click to download the Educator’s Guide for My Jasper June, featuring discussion questions and classroom activities!
Published by Walden Pond Press an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers