Newbery-winning Rules meets Counting by 7s in this affecting story of a girl’s devotion to her brother and what it means to be home
When eleven-year-old Thyme Owens’ little brother, Val, is accepted into a new cancer drug trial, it’s just the second chance that he needs. But it also means the Owens family has to move to New York, thousands of miles away from Thyme’s best friend and everything she knows and loves. The island of Manhattan doesn’t exactly inspire new beginnings, but Thyme tries to embrace the change for what it is: temporary.
After Val’s treatment shows real promise and Mr. Owens accepts a full-time position in the city, Thyme has to face the frightening possibility that the move to New York is permanent. Thyme loves her brother, and knows the trial could save his life—she’d give anything for him to be well—but she still wants to go home, although the guilt of not wanting to stay is agonizing. She finds herself even more mixed up when her heart feels the tug of new friends, a first crush, and even a crotchety neighbor and his sweet whistling bird. All Thyme can do is count the minutes, the hours, and days, and hope time can bring both a miracle for Val and a way back home.
With equal parts heart and humor, Melanie Conklin’s debut is a courageous and charming story of love and family—and what it means to be counted.
A 2016 Nerdy Book Club Award Winner
“Debut author Conklin writes with a pitch-perfect middle-grade voice… A nice choice for middle-grade readers who enjoy heartfelt and emotional novels.”—Booklist
“Thyme’s remarkable perseverance and resilience will inspire readers of Conklin’s compassionate tale.”—Kirkus Reviews
“[A] sweet book that will strum the heartstrings of readers.”—School Library Journal
“Conklin successfully weaves together the shifting dynamics of a loving family under crisis with the less dramatic but equally heartfelt turmoil of coming of age in a new environment.”—Publishers Weekly
“Counting Thyme shows how a serious illness can tear the fabric of a family apart, and love can stitch it back together again. This deeply moving story of family, friendship, and belonging will settle deep in your heart and stay there long after the final page is read.”—Donna Gephart, award-winning author of Death by Toilet Paper and Lily and Dunkin
“Melanie Conklin brings New York vividly to life in Counting Thyme, a gentle story fueled by heart, hope, and beautifully developed characters.”—Pat Schmatz, award-winning author of Bluefish