The quest to save the words of a dying language - and to find the words to save what may be a dying friendship - lies at the heart of this exquisite verse novel. Sixth grader Betsy is the one who informs her best friend, Lizard, that thousands of the world's languages are currently threatened by extinction; Betsy's mother is a linguistics professor working frantically to study dying languages before they are lost forever. But it is Lizard who, gripped by the magnitude of this loss, challenges Betsy, What if, instead of WRITING about dying languages, like your mom, you and I SAVED one instead? As the girls embark on their quest to learn as much as possible of the near-extinct language of Guernésiais (spoken on the Isle of Guernsey, off the coast of France), their friendship faces unexpected strains. With Lizard increasingly obsessed with the language project, Betsy begins to seek greater independence from her controlling and charismatic friend, as well as from her controlling and charismatic mother. Then tragedy threatens Betsy's life beyond what any words can express, and Lizard does something unthinkable. Maybe lost friendships, like lost languages, can never be completely saved. An NCTE Notable Verse Novel A Charlotte Huck Recommended Book A Mighty Girl Best Book of the Year A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Book! A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Author: Claudia Mills Publisher: Margaret Ferguson Books Published: 10/19/2021 Pages: 304 Binding Type: Hardcover Weight: 0.85lbs Size: 8.40h x 5.60w x 1.30d ISBN: 9780823450381 Audience: Ages 9-12
Review Citation(s): Kirkus Reviews 08/01/2021 Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks 09/01/2021 - Book Of Special Distinction Publishers Weekly 10/04/2021 School Library Journal 10/01/2021 pg. 86
About the Author Claudia Mills has written many children's books, including 7 x 9 = Trouble!, the Franklin School Friends series, The After-School Superstar series, and Zero Tolerance. She recently received the Kerlan Award for her contribution to children's literature. She was a professor of philosophy for more than two decades at the University of Colorado and is now a faculty member in the graduate programs in children's literature at Hollins University. Dr. Mills lives in Boulder, Colorado. Visit her at claudiamillsauthor.com.