Eleven and Holding
Macy Hollinquest is eleven years old, and don't count on her to change that anytime soon.
Her birthday is just days away, but she has no intention of turning twelve without her dad by her side. He'd promised to be there for her big day, and yet he's been gone for months--away after his discharge from the army, doing some kind of top secret, "important work."
So Macy's staying eleven, no matter what--that is, until she meets Ginger, a nice older lady who is searching for her missing dog. Ginger's dog search is the perfect cover for Macy's attempt to locate her dad. But her hunt puts her on a path to a head-on collision with the truth, where she discovers that knowing can sometimes be a heavy burden. And that change, when finally accepted, comes with an unexpected kind of grace.
Mary Penney's earnest, heartfelt story of change, loss, and new beginnings will resonate with young readers on the cusp of new beginnings, and stay in their hearts long after it's done.
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About the Author
Mary Penney thinks eleven-year-olds ought to be given special medals for surviving one of the toughest years of childhood. She feels certain she ate her body weight in peanut M&M's that year just to cope. She says that when she was eleven-and-a-half, she began shape-shifting from a reasonable-looking child to an awkward creature with arms, legs, ears, and teeth all pointing in different directions. She wants you all to know that awkward stage passes eventually and very cool things happen next. Just hang on!
She is a US Army veteran and works full-time for the Department of Veteran Affairs. Mary lives in Santa Barbara with her four-legged children who love to sleep, play practical jokes, and throw up hairballs. Mary loves to swim (badly), practice yoga (stiffly), and walk (into lots of things). Despite all that, she is deeply grateful for all her Irish good luck, and especially for being able to write novels for kids.
"A sweet heartbreaker of a book. As important as it is endearing." -- Ali Benjamin, author of The Thing About Jellyfish
"Full of characters who start out stoic and scrappy but who slowly reveal themselves--to one another and to us--in the most honest and riveting and heartachey ways." -- Liz Garton Scanlon, Caldecott Honor Winner for All the World
"Macy's candid narrative voice and expressive observations... bring humor and pathos to Penney's tender, emotionally satisfying story." -- Publishers Weekly
"Driven by attractive, colorful characters, this tale is immersive and engaging... Lively, funny, tender without being syrupy, and full of life." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Penney's novel brings to light some of the issues families of military personnel face... Readers will enjoy Macy's independent, adventurous spirit in this story about growing up, friendship, and forgiveness." -- Horn Book Magazine
"An emotional coming-of-age tale that will resonate with readers who appreciate contemporary, realistic, character-driven novels." -- School Library Journal