Where You've Got to Be


Product Details

$16.99  $15.80
Greenwillow Books
Publish Date
5.75 X 8.35 X 1.1 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author

Caroline Gertler is a former editor at Wendy Lamb Books and the author of Many Points of Me. Caroline Gertler lives with her family in New York City.


"Heartfelt, honest and beautifully told--Nolie's NYC story is a must-read. Bonus points for an absolutely amazing Grandma character!" -- Lisa Greenwald, author of The Friendship List and TBH series

"Nolie's tale is rich with references to her family's history and Judaism. Gertler handles middle-grade angst, family dynamics, and serious issues with candor and compassion. Readers will commiserate and root for this story's sympathetic protagonist." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Eleven-year-old Nolie . . . is having trouble adjusting to sixth grade . . . Tension builds at home, and Nolie starts taking things that don't belong to her. . . . [Sister] Linden tries to help, but it's their wise, Jewish grandmother who understands Nolie best and helps her find a way forward. Gertler uses the New York City setting effectively as a distinctive backdrop for the action in this well-developed story of tween friends and siblings growing apart and either going their separate ways or bridging the gap to become close again." -- Booklist

"Sixth grader Nolie feels left behind . . . Overwhelmed and without any emotional outlets, Nolie impulsively steals sentimental treasures like her Grandma's compass and Jessa's crystal necklace, despite knowing how hurtful those acts might be. Nolie tries to find her way back to the right path . . . [while] learning how to stay true to herself while accepting the changes in the process. Gertler gives an authentic picture of a kid floundering in the new waters of middle school social dynamics without a lifeboat in sight. . . . An exploration of conscience and coping." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Eleven-year-old Nolie feels adrift. . . . She begins processing her worries by picking at the skin on her thumb and stealing objects that make her feel better. . . . Buoyed by the confidence of a new friend and the tough, practical guidance [sister] Linden gives upon discovering the stolen objects, Nolie begins to take responsibility for herself and her actions, and that leads her to the help she needs from her family and the confidence to start fresh. This raw story of growing up is also full of the strength, history, and warmth of a close-knit Jewish family." -- Horn Book Magazine