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What About Will Hardcover – Sept. 14 2021

4.8 out of 5 stars 113 ratings

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From the Publisher

What About Will Closer to Nowhere
Read more by Ellen Hopkins: A new heartbreakingly tender middle grade novel-in-verse about the bonds between two brothers and the love they share. Told in verse from the alternating perspectives, this is a story of two cousins who are more alike than they realize and the family they both want to save.

Product description


Praise for What About Will:
A 2022-2023 Great Lakes Great Books Nominee (MI)
A 2022 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year

A 2022 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick

Heartfelt novel in verse.” —Forbes

★ “Hopkins’s
heartrending novel in verse evocatively conveys Trace’s attempts to call attention to Will’s dangerous behavior and his yearning to “fix” his broken family. Standout supporting characters include Mr. Cobb, Trace’s Vietnam veteran neighbor, and Catalina, a new girl on his baseball team. . . the verse format suits Trace’s first-person narrative; its brevity cuts to the heart of Trace’s raw feelings of isolation and powerlessness. . .  A realistic, emotionally charged portrait of a family divided and their fragile steps toward a shared future. Recommended for middle grade collections.”—School Library Journal, starred review

“Written in her recognizable free-verse style, Hopkins conveys the
raw and realistic emotions of a broken family. The book covers multiple tough subjects . . . in a manner that is digestible for a younger audience. What about Will is a story about family, love, loss, hope, and understanding that you don’t have to go through hardships alone.” —Booklist

“The fears of stable, straight-arrow athlete Trace are clarified in
lovely sparks of concrete poetry among Hopkins’ free verse, as he learns to tell adults when he sees his beloved brother acting dangerously. Compassionate optimism for a boy who can’t control the chaos around him.” —Kirkus Reviews

“In effective verse, Hopkins (
Closer to Nowhere) tells an honest and moving portrait of a family in flux as they navigate newfound emotional and physical distance…Hopkins tenderly portrays a younger brother learning to advocate for himself and those he loves by speaking up and asking for help.” —Publishers Weekly

Praise for Closer to Nowhere:
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

“There’s a new crowd of Ellen Hopkins fans on the horizon! Hopkins
tackles tough subjects with honesty and compassion, woven in brilliant verse as always, now in a novel for younger readers. This beautifully written book about the strength of family shows us that even someone who doesn’t feel at home anywhere can find a place to belong.” —Lynne Kelly, author of the Schneider Family Book Award–winning Song for a Whale

“Hopkins uses her familiar verse to
take readers on an emotional rollercoaster. . . The author’s note about her own family experiences with addiction and behavioral challenges is almost as poignant as the text, and the quick pace makes it easy to devour, enticing fans to check out the rest of Hopkins’ oeuvre.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

About the Author

Ellen Hopkins is a poet, former journalist, and the award-winning author of twenty nonfiction books for young readers, fourteen bestselling young-adult novels (including The Crank Trilogy, Burned, Impulse, and Tricks series), and four novels for adult readers. This is her second middle-grade novel. Ellen lives with her extended family, two brilliant German shepherds, and a couple of ponds (not pounds) of koi in the eastern shadow of the Northern Nevada Sierra.

Gifts for everyone

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (Sept. 14 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593108647
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593108642
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 494 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.76 x 2.95 x 21.74 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 113 ratings

About the author

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I was adopted at birth and raised by a great, loving older couple. I grew up in Palm Springs CA, although we summered in Napa and Lake Tahoe, to avoid those 120 degree summers. After my adopted parents died, I did find my birth mother, who lives in Michigan with my half sister.

I studied journalism in college, but left school to marry, raise kids and start my own business--a video store, before the mega-chains were out there. After a divorce, I met my current husband and we moved to Tahoe to become ski bums and otherwise try to find our dreams. At that time, I went to work for a small alternative press, writing stories and eventually editing.

When we moved down the mountain to the Reno area, I started writing nonfiction books, many of which you can see here. The rest are viewable on my personal website. I also continued to freelance articles for newspapers and magazines.

All that has changed, with the publication of my novel, CRANK, which has led to a valued career writing YA novels in verse, all of which explore the more difficult situations young adults often find themselves in. Will I ever write one in prose? No doubt! But, for the moment, writing novels in verse fulfills two needs: writing poetry and writing fiction. The combination is so interesting!

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5.0 out of 5 stars Take all the stars!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ellen Hopkins seriously is the best author I’ve ever ever read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ellen Hopkins is Amazing
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