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From the author of the National Book Award nominee comes an inspiring novel about figuring out who you are and doing what you love.
Albie has never been the smartest kid in his class. He has never been the tallest. Or the best at gym. Or the greatest artist. Or the most musical. In fact, Albie has a long list of the things he's not very good at. But then Albie gets a new babysitter, Calista, who helps him figure out all of the things he good at and how he can take pride in himself.
A perfect companion to Lisa Graff's National Book Award-nominated , this novel explores a similar theme in a realistic contemporary world where kids will easily be able to relate their own struggles to Albie's. Great for fans of Rebecca Stead's , RJ Palacio's and Cynthia Lord's .
Praise for ABSOLUTELY ALMOST
* "Albie comes through significant emotional hardship to a genuine sense of self-worth."--, starred review
* "A perfect book to share with struggling readers."--, starred review
* "Achingly superb, Albie's story shines."--, starred review
* "Graff's...gentle story invokes evergreen themes of coming to appreciate one's strengths (and weaknesses), and stands out for its thoughtful, moving portrait of a boy who learns to keep moving forward, taking on the world at his own speed."--, starred review
"Lately the patrons of my school library have been asking, 'Do you have any books like by R.J. Palacio?' and now I have the perfect offering."--
"Maybe the wonder of is that it's willing to give us an almost unheard of hero."--Betsy Bird,
"Graff...again draws on her ability to create rich lifeworlds for her characters to present a boy who is gifted in many ways.... T]his is a sharp portrait of an outsider's inner perspective, and Albie's coming to terms with himself will be cheered by many."--
I grew up in Big Bear, California, which is a ski resort town on top of a mountain (where there are no bears). One day when I was eight years old, I was whining to my mother that I was bored and she told me to "go write a story or something." An hour later I produced a five-page picture book entitled The Strangest Flower, chock-full of spelling mistakes and truly terrible crayon drawings of flowers floating in midair. I still have it.
I continued to write as I grew up, and I loved creating stories and plays. My brother and I even occasionally performed melodramas we'd written for our friends and family (I always played the villain, twirling my mustache with sinister glee). But despite all of that, it never occurred to me that I might grow up to be a writer. My favorite subjects in school were math and science, and I wanted to be a doctor.
I kept up my writing through high school and college, just for fun, and most of what I wrote was for children. While I was studying abroad in Italy my junior year of college, one of my professors helped me translate a children's novel I'd written. That was an invaluable project for me—not only did it improve my Italian skills immensely, but it forced me to examine, in excruciating detail, every word I'd put on paper. That up-close look at my writing made me realize two very important things: one, my novel was awful, and two, I really loved to write.
After I graduated from UCLA, I packed up my belongings and headed off to New York, where I began classes at The New School, to earn my MFA in Creative Writing for Children. After working for five years as an editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers, I now write full-time from my home in Pennsylvania. In my spare time I like to explore new places, watch cheesy movies with my family, play silly board games, and bake yummy cakes.