For fans of Kate DiCamillo and Jack Gantos, a hilarious, wrenching, hopeful novel about finding your friends, healing your heart, and speaking your truth. Simon O'Keeffe's biggest claim to fame should be the time his dad accidentally gave a squirrel a holy sacrament. Or maybe the alpaca disaster that went viral on YouTube. But the story the whole world wants to tell about Simon is the one he'd do anything to forget: the story in which he's the only kid in his class who survived a school shooting. Two years after the infamous event, twelve-year-old Simon and his family move to the National Quiet Zone—the only place in America where the internet is banned. Instead of talking about Simon, the astronomers who flock to the area are busy listening for signs of life in space. And when Simon makes a friend who's determined to give the scientists what they're looking for, he'll finally have the chance to spin a new story for the world to tell. From award-winning author Erin Bow, Simon Sort of Says is a breathtaking testament to the lasting echoes of trauma, the redemptive power of humor, and the courage it takes to move forward without forgetting the past.
Centering 12-year-old Simon O'Keefe's recent move to a completely off-the-grid town and told in his laugh-out-loud first-person perspective, Bow (Stand on the Sky) delivers a compassionate and refreshingly hopeful novel about a tween navigating the aftermath of a school shooting, which takes place before this book's start. Hoping to escape the anxiety-inducing notoriety they've been experiencing after the event, Simon and his family move to Grin and Bear It, Neb., where all electronic devices are banned. The devices, local scientists say, would interfere with their radio telescopes, which are listening for signals of extraterrestrial activity. Since no one can google him, Simon is optimistic that he can fly under the radar and put his past behind him. He makes fast friends with classmates Agate Van der Zwann, who is white and autistic, and half-white, half-Filipino Kevin Matapung; together, they set out to create false messages from aliens, using Kevin's family's contraband microwave to attempt to trick the scientists. Without detracting from Simon's uplifting emotional arc about making peace with his past and looking toward a brighter future with friends, Bow imbues this sincere story with levity by employing madcap plot points, including several animal-centered shenanigans featuring squirrels, dogs, and emus. Ages 8–12.