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Closer to Nowhere  By  cover art

Closer to Nowhere

By: Ellen Hopkins
Narrated by: Dan Bittner, Brittany Pressley
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Publisher's summary

Number one New York Times best-selling author Ellen Hopkins's poignant middle-grade novel in verse about coming to terms with indelible truths of family and belonging.

For the most part, Hannah's life is just how she wants it. She has two supportive parents, she's popular at school, and she's been killing it at gymnastics. But when her cousin Cal moves in with her family, everything changes. Cal tells half-truths and tall tales, pranks Hannah constantly, and seems to be the reason her parents are fighting more and more. Nothing is how it used to be. She knows that Cal went through a lot after his mom died, and she is trying to be patient, but most days Hannah just wishes Cal never moved in.

For his part, Cal is trying his hardest to fit in, but not everyone is as appreciative of his unique sense of humor and storytelling gifts as he is. Humor and stories might be his defense mechanism, but if Cal doesn't let his walls down soon, he might push away the very people who are trying their best to love him.

Told in verse from the alternating perspectives of Hannah and Cal, this is a story of two cousins who are more alike than they realize and the family they both want to save.

©2020 Ellen Hopkins (P)2020 Listening Library

Critic reviews

A 2022-2023 Truman Readers Book Award Nominee (MO)

A 2022-2023 South Carolina Book Award Nominee

A 2021 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year

A 2021 NCTE Notable Novel in Verse

An Amazon Best Book of the Month

"Readers will root for these realistic characters, and will cheer for the growth they experience. Highly recommended.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“Hopkins’ use of free verse provides a canvas for sure-handed, brush-stroke development of the backstory and plot and emotional investment and identification with the characters. . . Compassionate and compelling.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Hopkins creates realistic portrayals of two kids trying to do their best even when it’s not easy.” —Publishers Weekly

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