The Fire, the Water, and Maudie McGinn

$9.99 USD

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From the acclaimed author of The Someday Birds, this contemporary middle grade novel—that Elana K. Arnold called “gorgeous and bighearted”—follows neurodivergent Maudie during the remarkable summer with her dad that might give her the courage to share the terrible secret about life with her mom.

Maudie McGinn lives for the summers she spends in California with her dad, but this year, she’s shouldering the weight of a big secret, one that her mom warned her never to tell. As much as Maudie wants to confide in her dad, she’s scared to.

When a wildfire strikes, Maudie and her dad are forced to evacuate his cabin in the woods. They head to the small beach town where her dad grew up. Every morning, from their camper, Maudie can see surfers bobbing in the water. Maudie quickly realizes she wants to learn, but how could she ever be brave or cool enough to surf?

As Maudie navigates unfamiliar waters, she makes new friends, and her autism no longer feels like a big deal. But her secret is still threatening to sink her. Will Maudie be able to reveal the awful truth about life with her mom and stepdad before the summer is over?

“A heartfelt story of courage and hope about Maudie, who navigates the world in her own unique divergent way, even while struggling with challenging family dynamics and loss. Readers will cry, cheer, and celebrate, and not soon forget, Maudie McGinn.”  -Pam Muñoz Ryan, Newbery Honor-winning author 
“A gorgeous, bighearted, beautiful book. I loved it.”   -Elana K. Arnold, award-winning author of A Boy Called Bat
“A powerful and deeply affecting story that will carry readers along like the perfect wave.” -Barbara Dee, author of Maybe He Just Likes You 
“A vulnerable portrait of one girl seeking to empower and redefine herself outside of her personal traumas.” -Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Anyone who’s different in a place where being different is feared will identify with Maudie’s struggles. Maudie’s journey from blaming herself for her neurodivergence to standing up for herself brings joy and hope to this autistic reader.” -Lyn Miller-Lachmann, author of the LA Times Book Prize-winning Torch 
“A breathtakingly beautiful ride of a story about an unforgettable, neurodivergent heroine.” -Jess Redman, award-winning author of The Miraculous "Gorgeously written; brims with empathy and understanding.”
-Emily Barth Isler, author of AfterMath

“Through Maudie’s earnest, occasionally poetic narration, Pla vividly explores the ways that physical and verbal abuse can distort self-perception. A perceptive, poignant tale of self-discovery.” -Kirkus Reviews


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