Extraordinary words by a reader/writer whose words I value, about GOING OVER

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Yesterday, Lara Starr of Chronicle Books wrote to share the news that GOING OVER was included in the BCCB Holiday Gift Guide, news I read while giving a very old friend a tour of the Penn campus. The entire list is worth reading, for those of you who are still in shopping mode.

(Buy books from real bookstores! Please!)

This morning, Twitter delivers this incredibly gorgeous and smart review of the book that defined, for me, much of my writing and teaching year. These are words only Colleen Mondor—author, publisher, critic, woman deeply invested in history—could write. I share a final paragraph, but every single word she writes, the perspective she yields about this period, and the photo she used to headline her review matter to me. They put a tear on my face this morning.
Going Over is a teen novel of far bigger ideas than most I have come across. The setting is brilliant and the split narrative, between Ada and Stefan, provides readers with a close look at just how different Berlin became after the split. (Which also makes the reunification that much more impressive.) There are so many novels set during WWII, while the Cold War remains stubbornly overlooked. I'm thus delighted with what Kephart has done here and find these characters, in their decidedly European setting, to be different in the best way. It's a thought provoking title with exceedingly likeable characters and a great ending; all of which make Going Over a winner.

So many thanks, Colleen, and BCCB, and all those who believed in Berlin, and in me, this year. You allow me to keep dreaming forward in ways I'll never adequately explain. To keep writing these small books that take these big risks and hope to find readers who will willingly enter these worlds.


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