Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Middle Grade fiction: After Zero, by Christina Collins


Title: After Zero
Author: Christina Collins
Publication Info: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2018. 256 pages
Source: Library digital resources
Publisher’s Blurb:
Elise carries a notebook full of tallies, each page marking a day spent at her new public school, each stroke of her pencil marking a word spoken. A word that can't be taken back. Five tally marks isn't so bad. Two is pretty good. But zero? Zero is perfect. Zero means no wrong answers called out in class, no secrets accidentally spilled, no conversations to agonize over at night when sleep is far away.

But now months have passed, and Elise isn't sure she could speak even if she wanted to―not to keep her only friend, Mel, from drifting further away―or to ask if anyone else has seen her English teacher's stuffed raven come to life. Then, the discovery of a shocking family secret helps Elise realize that her silence might just be the key to unlocking everything she's ever hoped for...

I'm going to do something I don't usually do. I read this book after reading a review from Jemima Pett a few weeks ago, and I'm just going to direct you off to her review. That's partly because I don't think I can write one without being influenced, and partly because I'm lazy as can be :D

So... before I send you to read Jemima's review, I was maybe a shade less enthusiastic (but still read it right through almost non-stop). I felt a bit like I was being educated about an issue, but for the most part it didn't interfere with the story. I would recommend it for the usual age range--8 or 9 to 12 or 13.

Now go read Jemima's review!



  1. I read this pretty recently, and I liked it. I couldn't put my finger on exactly why I didn't like it more, though.

    1. I wrote somewhere (maybe in my journal?) that it felt at times like an "issue" book-- you know, the sort that is written to educate readers about some issue. That was the best I could come up with for why I didn't like it more.


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