Just Like That (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

An 8th grade girl is sent to boarding school after a tragedy. A boy whose life has been nothing but tragedy gets a second chance. Their friendship teaches them to move forward and speak up in this layered, charming story.

— Rae Ann


In this poignant, perceptive, witty novel, Gary D. Schmidt brings authenticity and emotion to multiple plot strands, weaving in themes of grief, loss, redemption, achievement, and love. Following the death of her closest friend in summer 1968, Meryl Lee Kowalski goes off to St. Elene's Preparatory Academy for Girls, where she struggles to navigate the venerable boarding school's traditions and a social structure heavily weighted toward students from wealthy backgrounds. In a parallel story, Matt Coffin has wound up on the Maine coast near St. Elene's with a pillowcase full of money lifted from the leader of a criminal gang, fearing the gang's relentless, destructive pursuit. Both young people gradually dispel their loneliness, finding a way to be hopeful and also finding each other.


About the Author

Gary D. Schmidt is the best-selling author of many books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor and Printz Honor book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and the Newbery Honor book The Wednesday Wars. He is a professor of English at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Praise For…

“Alternating between poignantm oments of humor, melancholy, and occasional suspense, Schmidt sensitively explores the various ways grief has of bringing people together.” – Kirkus, STARRED review

"An unforgettable story of loss, healing, and finding one’s way.” -Booklist, STARRED review


Product Details
ISBN: 9780544084773
ISBN-10: 0544084772
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date: January 5th, 2021
Pages: 400
Language: English

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