A heartrending coming-of-age tale set in the South, perfect for fans of Bridge to Terabithia and Counting By 7s. Now in paperback.
Eleven-year-old Riley believes in the Whispers, magical wood creatures that will grant you wishes if you leave them tributes. Riley has a lot of wishes. He wishes bullies at school would stop picking on him. He wishes Dylan, his 8th grade crush, liked him, and Riley wishes he would stop wetting the bed. But most of all, Riley wishes for his mom to come back home. She disappeared a few months ago and Riley is determined to find her. So he goes on a camping trip with his friend Gary to look for the Whispers and ask them to bring his mom back home. But Riley doesn't realize the trip will shake the foundation of everything that he believes in for forever.
About the Author
Greg Howard grew up near the coast of South Carolina. His hometown of Georgetown is known as the "Ghost Capital of the South" (seriously...there's a sign), and was always a great source of material for his overactive imagination. Raised in a staunchly religious home, Greg escaped into the arts: singing, playing piano, acting, writing songs, and making up stories. Currently, Greg resides in Nashville, Tennessee, with his husband, Steve, and their three rescued fur babies Molly, Toby, and Riley.
Praise for The Whispers:
“This taut, moving tale delves beyond loss into issues of sexuality, conformity and self-acceptance…a masterful exploration into the power of storytelling but also its dangers, including self-denial and escapism.” —The New York Times Book Review
“With sensitivity and skill, Howard handles themes of sexual identity, self-worth, loss and friendship.” —The Washington Post
"Howard’s personal story helps create a fictional narrative both realistic and relevant, while also calling on the fantastical magic of the imagination…. A tale of family, friendship and loss, filled with magic and heart." —Associated Press
"A dreamy novel recalling Bridge to Terabithia." —Entertainment Weekly
"A heartbreaking, beguiling debut… This poignant journey through the badlands of grief is crammed with tenderness, wit and warmth." —The Guardian
★ "This is a story of a boy coming to grips with heartbreak and trying to understand why he is the way he is, who must learn to discern what is real, and who discovers redemption." —School Library Connection, starred review
"A beautiful, heart-expanding journey into the wilds of grief and back out again. This gorgeous book will give readers’ hearts a hug that’s filled with hope and possibility."—Donna Gephart, author of In Your Shoes and Lily and Dunkin
"A moving, thoughtful examination of trauma, grief, and the power of imagination." —Teen Librarian Toolbox
"A beautiful, heartfelt book about love and loss and friendship. It feels real and true and resonant. Bravo, Greg Howard!" —Dan Gemeinhart, author of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
"The Whispers needs to be on every reading list of kids who loved Bridge to Terabithia and Counting by 7s." —B&N Kids Blog
"A realistic tale of coming to terms and coming-of-age, of friendship and loss, with a touch of magic and humor."—Kirkus Reviews
"We’re predicting this emotional story will be an award winner." —Parents Magazine
"A touching story of grief and healing." —Booklist
"This touching, often wry novel offers a memorable psychological puzzle and explores grief and acceptance." —Publishers Weekly
"[Riley’s] a thoroughly sympathetic [narrator], and it’s easy to root for his eventual understanding of the truth—and of his own blamelessness." —The Horn Book Magazine
"An inspired and sensitive portrait of childhood traumatic grief." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"Riley’s voice is so wise and funny and compelling that readers—especially but not exclusively young ones—will gladly follow him on the kind of harrowing, hilarious journey that shows us we can survive the heartbreak and the beauty the world has in store for us." —Sam J. Miller, author of The Art of Starving and Blackfish City
"A thrill ride to the soul. Gorgeously written, full of depth and wit." —James Brandon, author of Ziggy, Stardust and Me