Taylor Before and After

By: Jennie Englund

In this heartfelt middle-grade novel, an eighth-grade girl faces the aftermath of a tragic family accident—and struggles to move on.

Taylor Before and After tells the story of middle schooler Taylor Harper through journal entries alternating between two timelines: before and after a drunk driving accident, in which Taylor Harper was a passenger—and her brother was the driver.

Before, Taylor was finally becoming popular, navigating the pressures of friends, frenemies, and a cut-throat initiation challenge by the coolest girl in school. After, she finds herself ostracized, bullied, and facing the glaring silence of things unsaid at school (and at home).

Debut author Jennie Englund writes with compassion and empathy, moving fluidly from effervescence to quiet reflection in this tale of grief, depression, loss, and what comes next. Taylor Before and After is an emotional story of one girl’s journey to self-acceptance.

Author’s note with resources.

ISBN: 9781250171870

JLG Release: May 2020


Sensitive Areas: Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Reference or Discussion, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use, Language: Homophobic Slur, Language: Mild Language, Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur, Violence: Death, Violence: Suicide Reference/Discussion
Topics: Coming of age , Conduct of life , Family life , Diaries , Car accidents , Friendship , Depression , Popularity , Grief , Middle schools , Hawaii

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal

School Library Journal

A story is told in journal entries that flash forward and back in time involving an unnamed tragedy. Taylor lives in Oahu. Transplanted from Oregon three years earlier thanks to her father’s new job teaching at a college, Taylor’s family has not found the move easy. Her mother, who experiences depressive episodes, now does not get out of bed. T A story is told in journal entries that flash forward and back in time involving an unnamed tragedy. Taylor lives in Oahu. Transplanted from Oregon three years earlier thanks to her father’s new job teaching at a college, Taylor’s family has not found the move easy. Her mother, who experiences depressive episodes, now does not get out of bed. Taylor’s brother, Eli, and her emotionally distant father are in conflict. Eli has discovered surfing and cuts class in order to find the perfect wave. Taylor has had trouble fitting in, but is happy when the seventh grade alpha female grants her entry into her circle of friends. The disjointed narrative in this compelling debut shifts between “before” to “after,” and is appropriately disorienting. Readers slowly piece together what Taylor herself is barely able to articulate. Her dysfunctional home situation leaves Taylor with no mooring. Both parents are emotionally unavailable and her beloved brother has betrayed her. Taylor herself can’t help but be affected by the fallout and makes some poor decisions. But she is resilient and introspective. Readers will root for Taylor as they read her honest musings. Mild swearing and the sophisticated structure of this fascinating coming-of-age story make this better suited for a thoughtful upper middle grade reader.

Book Details

ISBN

9781250171870

First Release

May 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/3"

Page Count

320

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Imprint

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Reference or Discussion, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use, Language: Homophobic Slur, Language: Mild Language, Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur, Violence: Death, Violence: Suicide Reference/Discussion

Topics

Coming of age, Conduct of life, Family life, Diaries, Car accidents, Friendship, Depression, Popularity, Grief, Middle schools, Hawaii,

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