EARLY BOOKS

You Are My Only, which has been sold to both Brazil and Germany, was named a best read of the year by a number of readers, including those listed below.  To view a brief reading from the book, go here.

Caribousmom/Short List for Fiction
Caribousmom/Buzz Books Which Did Not Disappoint
My Friend Amy
Dear Author
There's a Book
Two Heads Together 
The 3 R's Blog 
On a Southern Breeze
Washington, D.C. Literature/Examiner.com

Main Line Today cited You Are My Only as a staff favorite here, noting:  With a story seemingly ripped from the headlines, the award-winning author and Main Line Today contributor spares readers the sensationalism and, instead, seamlessly weaves the dual narratives into a plot that races toward a stunning finish. 

In YOU ARE MY ONLY, Beth Kephart tells the story of a young girl ripped from the life meant for her as a child and raised in captivity with honesty, fairness, tenderness, and most of all hope. It's a story of unusual circumstances with universal  application--no matter how dark and difficult life may seem the hope for something more is always within reach. Breathtaking in its beauty and with great heart, YOU ARE MY ONLY brings readers the story of a kidnapped young girl that they will never want to forget.

— Amy Riley, My Friend Amy
Founder, Book Bloggers Appreciation Week 

"Kephart’s prose is poetry in motion—creating beauty out of everyday moments. This disquieting yet emotionally satisfying novel (written for young adults but a linguistic pleasure for any reader) alternates the stories of Emmy, desperate to find her missing baby, and homeschooled 14-year-old Sophie. The surprise is not in how these two soulful voices are connected but in the way they weave together to the book’s finely spun ending." — Darcy Jacobs, Family Circle (November 2011)

"This has a very different style from classic child-abduction melodramas such as Mazer’s Taking Terri Mueller (BCCB 6/83) and Ehrlich’s Where It Stops, Nobody Knows (BCCB 1/89); Kephart’s writing is a thing of beauty in its own right, and Sophie’s story earns its frequent and apt allusions to Rapunzel with its own fairy-tale quality.... Readers will eat up this realistic variant of the youthful fantasy about finally finding one’s real parents and being properly appreciated." — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


"Kephart (Dangerous Neighbors) writes a
psychologically taut novel, juxtaposing
the thoughts of Sophie, a teen kidnapped
during her infancy, and her grieving
birthmother, Emmy, who is institutionalized
after a breakdown....  Succinct, emotionally packed chapters
capture similarities between mother and
daughter, the depth of their despair, their
common desire to be free, and their poetic
vision of the world. As Sophie begins to
find clues about her captor’s secret past,
readers will be on the edge of their seats
waiting for the inevitable, liberating moment
that will change the course of the
lives of both mother and daughter." Ages
12–up. (Oct.) 

Publishers Weekly 


The heartbreaking tale of a kidnapped child and her bereft mother unfolds in alternating narratives in this intense and lovely novel.... the ripped-from-the-headlines plot is here treated with tenderness and depth. Kephart's deft employ of descriptive language—"Past the door is scuffle and howl, the slow and the fast moving. I see it through the window glass, the glass all scratched with black diamonds"—is extremely effective in setting mood and creating imagery.  Though the initial draw may be the sensational subject matter, readers will come away with much more.(Fiction. 12 & up) — Kirkus Reviews 

As in many of her previous YA novels,Kephart’s not-quite-joyful ending wraps up the story with both hope and realism. The intense, sympathetic characters, both young and elderly, and the challenging, often brutal situations they face will move thoughtful readers. — Booklist

"This amazing story reads like a first class thriller." — Random Acts of Reading

"Kephart’s novels are aimed at a YA audience, but her sophisticated story lines and thoughtful writing style give her books a universal appeal." — InReads

I will confess that part of why You Are My Only appealed to me so much is that ever since The Yellow Wallpaper I have carried a healthy fear of the stories of women who are driven insane by the care of others. The fact that the asylum Kephart writes about is based on a real and horrible place (Byberry Asylum, in Philadelphia), doesn't help assuage my fears. In the end both Sophie and Emmy are young women who live in fear through no fault of their own and must struggle against great odds to find the truth without losing their minds in the process. In this very intense psychological thriller they take chances and most importantly do not give up. I like that in any novel and find a lot to admire in a book that gives me not just one but two young women to admire. The fact that Kephart accomplishes this in the midst of writing about a cute boy, a dog, some kite flying and classic literature is all par for the course for her fans but will impress many new readers who show up for the thrills this time. (And do read about Byberry if you get a chance -- it's about as scary as it gets.) — Colleen Mondor, Bookslut

"This book is one you definitely don't want to miss out on!" School Library Journal Sneak Peeks

Blogger Reviews
“Familiar, beautiful, fantastically written. You Are My Only is a pint-sized powerhouse waiting to be devoured.” Bookalicio.us
"The tone of the book skips in and out of haunting suspense and youthful exuberance. Beth has a gift for poetry and description, and the resulting work is one that tugs at your heart and makes you want to open your door to Sophie and Emmy and all of the delightful other characters." — On a Southern Breeze
"This will be the most extraordinary and probably one of the most memorable books you'll read for a long time.  I suggest going right away to buy your hard copy, first edition because you'll want it in your personal library. I predict it will be one of the Top Best Books of 2011.  It is so masterfully written that you could simply close your eyes and point on any given page, and you'll land at a beautiful turn of phrase or description.  This is a book of the heart and soul.  This is a book that only an author of the highest quality could write." — A Bookish Libraria

"Although marketed as a book for young adults, there are no age limitations on a beautifully written story like this one. But I wish more young adults would read books like this – books that make you realize the power of loving human relationships and the ability to redeem yourself, books that explore the deepest of human emotions universal to every age, books that elevate beautiful language to an art form. You Are My Only is such a book. Read it whatever your age." — Bookstack

"You Are My Only is a book that could so easily fall into others of its ilk.  It has the makings of a high-end drama that promises teenage angst and romance, but it instead goes the less trodden path.  You use sparse prose, rich characterization, and a simple plot to share a simple connection between two people that may or may not come to fruition.  You end on a note that leaves so much left to be said, yet completes the story in such a timely way." — Dear Author

"You Are My Only is an emotional powerhouse drawing redemption out of the shattered pieces of lives rendered asunder by a single event.  Through faith and love these characters can begin the heal, rebuild, and flourish.  What more could readers ask for?  Stunning, precious, and captivating from beginning to end." — Savvy Verse & Wit

"Perhaps that is because You Are My Only is a story that reflects the times in which we live.  While there have always been hearts-held-captive baby-gone-missing stories in our nation's history (think Lindbergh, think Elizabeth Smart, think Jaycee Dugard) having this fictional one appear now brings a powerful message in these dark days of personal despair and economic uncertainty for so many.  With You Are My Only, Kephart is saying that we have the strength within us to endure the darkness and break through into the light. It is a message that she personally knows well, and it shows - beautifully, triumphantly - in this novel."   Highly recommended. The Betty and Boo Chronicles

"You Are My Only is a gorgeously written YA novel. That’s the first thing I want you to know about it. The second thing is that I couldn’t put it down. I read it in a day, ignoring my children. My older daughter, age 13, curious about my absorption, examined the cover and picked up the book to see what it was all about. That is the beauty of a paper book." — Lilian Nattel

"You Are My Only explores attachment from a number of perspectives; the fierce protectiveness of mother love is a primary theme (one that I think applies to Cheryl as well as to Emmy), with the unconventional family across the alley--two elderly lesbian aunts and the teenage nephew they are raising--considered in counterpoint. These themes largely emerge between the lines, which is a hallmark of this author's storytelling style. Kephart’s writing is poetic and evocative, and as I said, it rewards attention paid to it...and to the things she doesn't actually say. One of her great strengths is that she can tell a powerful story without hammering all the points home. And this is a powerful, memorable story, ambitious in structure and emotionally affecting." — The 3 R's Blog


"But, then I heard Good Things about You Are My Only. So I decided to give it a go. After all, it’s by Beth Kephart, and her writing is not only consistently strong but consistently original. She shows me things that I wouldn’t notice without her, makes everyday actions into things of beauty by describing them in new ways. Sometimes, that make-you-blink description appears in simple phrases like “...she undressed the hangers...” to describe a woman packing, while at others, it’s simply in the way Kephart strings her narrator’s thoughts together.... Long story short?  I’m glad that I decided to read it." — Kirkus Reviews Blog

"I’ll be honest. Sophie is a sweet, brave kid and her journey towards truth, no matter the cost, is brave and admirable. But it’s Emmy, broken, lost Emmy, who broke my heart. Sophie will be fine: she has Miss Helen and Miss Cloris and Joey and her whole future ahead of her. It is Emmy I’m scared for: scared because she was committed for having a realistic, appropriate reaction to her stolen child and denied her grief and rage and loss. Scared, because she’s young and poor with no one. It was so easy for her to be committed, a problem to be taken care of by getting rid of her. Her soft cries of “someone has my baby” is met with medication rather than hugs and love." — A Chair, A Fireplace, & A Tea Cozy

 "It's a stunning contemporary novel written so poetically and conveys the mood so perfectly that you can just feel the weight of the loss and imprisonment that Sophie and Emmy encounter and the freedom in truth and in friendships that give you means to confide in. I'd highly recommend it to both readers of YA and Adult Fiction because labels be damned..and you know I'm pretty honest and conscience of my readers, as a reader of both YA and Adult, when I recommend a book universally. Don't expect a thriller or a fast paced drama..this book shines because of the writing, well written characters and the slow unraveling of the plot. In some ways her writing reminds me of the way I feel about Nicole Krauss's writing. Every sentence just really helps create the mood and feel the weight of the emotions the characters are going through." — The Perpetual Page-Turner


"I saw a lot of teen appeal in YOU ARE MY ONLY as Beth gives readers not just one girl trying to break free but two and honestly I'm not sure which character I found more appealing. There is also a lot more here, like Willa Cather and Johannes Kepler and kite flying and one very cool dog (who does not die!) and while the tension is fairly relentless it is not gratuitous or violent or, for lack of a better word, lame. This is just the story of two girls each trying to figure out who they are and who they should be and clinging every second to the lives they want to have. It's a book about being strong enough to insist on the truth, and never giving up no matter how hard life gets.  It's pretty much the best kind of power trip you can want for a teenage girl to read."—Chasing Ray

"It was easy to relate to the heartache, the circumstances beyond their control but I didn't find this a depressing read. It was equally easy to revel in Sophie's new-found joy in small wondrous things; eating a cookie, flying a kite, having a friend.  I'm wholeheartedly recommending this one to mature YA readers and adults and Beth will go on my "author's who write from the heart" list! — The Eclectic Reader

"I enjoyed this book immensely, I actually had to stop reading it on the bus one day because I thought everyone is going to think I'm losing it, and I was, I hadn't brought enough tissues to keep up with the water coming from my eyes." — Irene's Desk
 
"I love quirky books that are hard to categorize. You Are My Only by Beth Kephart is marketed as young adult fiction, but it could just as easily be adult literary fiction. It's a contemporary novel that echoes the language of classic literature.  Many lines read like poetry. The alternating chapters follow a young woman and a teenaged girl, each one confined to a miserable existence. The connection between Emmy and Sophie is a mystery for the reader to solve." — Sarah Laurence Blog

"One of the things I love most about this book are the characters—they are quirky, they are mysterious, they are flawed, and they are all very real. As a result, it is impossible to mistake this for just another book about a teenage mother, or just another suspense novel about a missing child. Emmy's emotions at the abduction of her baby are unflinchingly raw, and so are Sophie's as she discovers more and more about the life she could be living, the life that her mother has been keeping from her. Sophie begins to venture outside of the house, spending time with her neighbors: the boy her age, Joey, and his dog, Harvey; his guardians, Aunt Cloris and Aunt Helen, who are a couple but whose relationship is never harped upon or spotlighted, simply shown for its warmth and honesty and love. These are the things that are missing in Sophie's life: true friendship, unconditional love, and stability, and it's up to Sophie to find out why." — Finding Wonderland

"This one will grab you and never let you go. You will relate to and remember these characters as they spend afternoons reading classics and eating custard or baking cookies and creating a kite. You will relate to the heartache a mother feels when her child is taken and when a person suddenly loses their best friend in the world. You will be inspired by the underlying message of hope when all seems lost. I will OWN this book as soon as I can buy it and it will get a special place on my shelf." — Woven Myst

"You Are My Only is a tiny book. The page count is not high, and the volume is slim. But, it never reads that way, and I think it’s because the reader is so fully present in all the character’s lives, and they are all strong and lovable. Motherhood and nurturing are strong themes throughout. Joey’s aunts parent him after a terrible tragedy and they bring Sophie into the fold, Emmy mothers a dear friend, when they both have no one else, and she especially does not have “Baby”, and Sophie mothers her own mother seemingly on the verge of a breakdown a long time coming. I felt deeply for these characters who were intent on forging pathways to love through the obstacles life paced in their way. While I did say that there wasn’t mystery in how the stories connected, I was on the edge of my seat trying to see how it would play out." — Linus's Blanket

 "For the last few days, since I turned the last page and read the final words, Emmy and Sophie have been continually in my mind. I find myself imagining the next scene, and the next, and the next, because I don’t want to say goodbye to them. You Are My Only is that kind of book." — Books and Movies

"Beth Kephart is a beautiful writer; I first experienced her wonderful style in Nothing But Ghosts and I’ve been looking forward to another read since. She has the incredible talent of getting right to the heart of human emotion and expressing it through her prose while telling a story. Some of the imagery is simply stunning, causing me to go back and read over again just to savor the beauty of the words." — Medieval Bookworm

You Are My Only is current, relevant, and gracefully written with gripping realism. There is no shrinking back. Thank you, Beth, for staying truly dedicated to the fine art of writing. — On Point

"As always, Kephart chooses her words with care, and while the language is not as ‘ethereal’ as in some of her recent books, her images and descriptions and wording remain essential in understanding the characters and surroundings.  There are secrets that need to be unearthed and things to ponder.  There are relationships that you are jealous you are not a part of and those you are glad you have not experienced.  You can read You Are My Only quickly and enjoy the story or you can read it slowly and savor every word and nuance and description.  Either way, you must read Beth Kephart’s latest addition to Young Adult literature, You Are My Only.  More than likely, after you’ve read it once, you’ll go back and read it again.  I know I will." — Two Heads Together

"Beth Kephart is an author that knows the human heart and writes it with an eloquence that will have you in love with the words on the page as if they were living breathing beings. My only regret upon closing You Are My Only was that I had to leave behind Emmy and Sophie in their newly discovered freedoms, but thankfully I can still go back to visit them whenever I’d like. You Are My Only will easily be a favorite among readers, both young and old, and has quickly taken it’s place on my shelf among my personal favorite reads of all time."—There's a Book

"Her latest book, You Are My Only (due out on October 25th and available for pre-order here) is also a book about a desperate search. Two quests, really. Emmy, a young mother, searching for her lost child. And Sophie, who begins to question her world, seeking the one thing she doesn't know to look for. All of it culminating to a discovery that left me with sweaty palms and a racing heart as I turned each page."—This Too

"Beth Kephart uses a very unique style of writing for this book that reminds me a bit like Ellen Hopkins. She is extremely creative and uses a sort of poetic prose for this book that I really enjoyed. I’m not sure everyone will necessarily like this sort of writing style, but it didn’t bother me or distract me from the points the author was trying to convey. It is very different and I liked it. It comes across as eloquent and efficient and I think that it added that extra special touch needed for this book to be a great book and not just a good book." — Hippies Beauty and Books.  Oh my.  

"To my mind, as I was reading it, the story was Sophie’s, who is the same age as the girls who will hopefully be reading the book, and so it’s definitely relevant to them. Most young teens feel trapped in some way. If not physically isolated like Sophie is, they often feel so different from their parents or their peers, that they experience the same things. Seeing Sophie unfold and set herself free was a poignant and thoughtful exercise for me." — 5 Minutes for Books

"Anyone who has read one of Beth's books know she's an observer, that her books are about characters being torn open and stitched up with hope, that healing never ever comes apart from healing together. I haven't yet been able to write a proper review for this book, because no other book this year has affected me like You Are My Only did. It's a beautiful and powerful book on its own, but it's also a book that met me exactly where I needed to be met at the moment in life. And I think that's also a little bit of what having a favorite author is all about...they always write in such a way that you marvel at their gift for knowing bits of your heart you can't express yourself." — My Friend Amy

"In case you have not already figured it out – I loved You Are My Only – a book that takes the reader into the darkness and then shows them a way to return to the light. Beautifully written and astonishing, this is a book which I highly recommend for readers of all ages."— Caribousmom
"Wow...I read this breathlessly. It was amazing. It was told in two of the most lovely voices I have read in a long long time." — Books, Thoughts And A Few Adventures... 

"Beth Kephart always conveys an amazing depth of understanding about her characters and their emotional lives, while creating a story that captivates and engages readers of all ages. She writes about real people in real situations whose lives and feelings mirror our own, but elevates these experiences to an almost mystical level with her beautiful descriptive language and writerly attention to detail."—Bookstack

"This isn’t an action-filled book, despite the blurb.  It’s quiet, meditative.  Both narrative arcs are engrossing.  I found myself loving each story individually.  Whenever the narrative changed I would be upset leaving that character behind. But then, within a few sentences, I was equally as engrossed in the alternate story.  Kephart chooses her words carefully and the prose is gorgeous.  I found myself savoring each descriptive sentence while fighting the urge to fly through the book to reach the conclusion. Highly recommended." — The Reading Zone

"Verdict: Beautiful."— Kay's Bookshelf
 "Conjuring sharp, meticulously detailed images of fair exhibitions ('The wonders of the world slide past.  Parisian corsets cavorting on their pedestals.  Vases on lacquered shelves.  Folding beds.  Walls of cutlery.  The sweetest assortment of sugar-colored pills, all set to sail on a yacht'), Kephart evokes a tantalizing portrait of love, remorse, and redemption." — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"It’s a beautifully crafted, carefully researched historical novel that captures the essence of a single historic event while exploring the universality of love, grief, guilt, and the mysterious twin connection." — Booklist, Hot Teen Title for Fall 2010


"Ultimately, it is through chance meetings with “dangerous neighbors” and caring strangers that Katherine begins to consider the possibilities of her own life going forward. Her forgiveness of Bennett and herself gives birth to a sense of hope and helps this tenderly crafted story end with a positive spin. Kephart has painted a vivid picture of the Exhibition. Readers can practically smell the roasted peanuts and feel the bruise of crowds shoving by as she creates a lively setting against which a quiet, desperate struggle is played out.–Karen Elliott, Grafton High School, WI"—School Library Journal

"... While the story is compelling enough for readers who enjoy historical fiction, this books’ excellence lies in the subtle descriptions nestled in Kephart’s writing. It is a book beautifully done, the complex human emotions of heartbreak and hope exquisitely intertwined." — Library Media Connection  


"...  a tender, quiet work of historical fiction...exquisitely crafted...as lovely in its imagery as it is tragic..." — Kirkus

"The tension between past and future is what really makes this novel shine. Readers will find themselves immersed in the 1800s, captivated by Kephart's writing, and rooting for Katherine the whole way."— Mandy King, The Boulder Book Store, Autumn 2010 Indiebound Children's Indie Next List

Beth Kephart is the real deal.  Teenagers can smell a fake, or a lesson, a mile away, so authenticity is key to persuading them to suspend their disbelief. In Dangerous Neighbors, Kephart's fifth book of young adult fiction, 1876 Philadelphia is rendered realistically in exquisite sensory detail: the flowers and foods and fabrics of the Centennial Exhibition, all the "noise and crush of progress" encroaching on a city once so quiet you could hear a runaway pig squeal in the street or a girl "flat-fingering" a Schubert piano piece. This living history - the "unfinished pile of City Hall like a half-baked cake," the just-built Academy of Music, masted ships afloat on the Delaware - makes the old city new. But what makes Kephart's work feel true is its authentic adolescent sensibility, which she artfully conveys.

"Kephart deftly sketches in the sisters’ intense bond—disturbed when Anna secretly falls in love with Bennett, a “baker’s boy”—and home life (loyal cook, a mother distracted by feminist politicking, a reticent businessman father), and she does a superb job of evoking the sights and sounds of the era, both in the city streets and on the Centennial grounds in Fairmount Park, and during a summer excursion to Cape May, New Jersey, where Katherine digs for clams with her father in a rare moment of informality."—John Prendergast, Pennsylvania Gazette
Dangerous Neighbors is a great book about the bond of twin sisters, love, and losing the ones you love most. National Book Award Finalist, Beth Kephart, takes a story set centuries ago and makes it something we can relate to today. — Girls' Life

"Kephart never once underestimates her audience." — In Bed With Books

"A multitude of themes are packed into this short novel – grief, sibling rivalry and responsibility, parent/child relationships, young love, and teen suicide – themes we’re accustomed to reading about in modern literature settings, but not quite as often in historical novels.  Kephart creates the perfect emotional portrait of her characters, and invites her readers to study it to discover all their delicate nuances.  Dangerous Neighbors speaks to readers of all ages in its look at some very universal human emotions and situations." — Bookstack

"Recommended for: fans of literary fiction, spectacular young adult literature, history, tragedy, deliverance, and descriptions so well rendered that they seem tinged with the magical."—Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia

"For me, DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS is like that first secret crush, or the meeting of hands, when you know that you've met your soulmate. I think this book is going to stay in my head, and in my heart for a very long time." — Read My Mind

"I’ve yet to encounter another novel that so perfectly captures the painful, heartache-inducing way in which sisters must grapple with one another moving forward in their lives — and, in the process, pulling away from one another." — Write Meg!

When I finished Dangerous Neighbors, I recognized the feeling inside of me..that I had been on a journey and come out on the side of hope. I have felt this way before, many times, but always always when finishing a story by Beth Kephart." — My Friend Amy

"Your writing style is one completely original to the world of young-adult books, and it’s beautiful.  So beautiful.  I read this book very slowly just to absorb the meaning of everything.  Every passage flowed and ebbed with emotion and depth.  This is the type of book that proves that the young-adult genre is more than just a commercial one."—Dear Author

"Different from anything I have ever read before, Beth Kephart raises the bar on Young Adult novels. She proves that you don't need vampires and werewolves to capture this audience's attention, and bring them on a journey they will not soon forget."—Alison's Book Marks


"The writing was simply exquisite. I've read almost all of Kephart's work and believe that she is a pure word poet. The scenes flow into one another seamlessly and the descriptive words that she used invoked quite sharp and vivid pictures in my mind!"—Life in the Thumb

"Kephart is a writer who writes from the heart. Her prose is poetic and finely wrought; her eye for detail lovingly observed. She effortlessly brings to life a time in history when the future held great promise and mystery which blends perfectly with the central theme of the novel … that we live in a dangerous, yet exciting world, and the future (no matter how unpredictable) is before us."—Caribousmom

"Another family full of secrets can be found in Beth Kephart’s latest, Dangerous Neighbors, her most beautifully written YA novel to date."—Colleen Mondor, Bookslut

“As you can likely tell Dangerous Neighbors was one of my favorite reads this year, possibly ever. For some reason, either Beth’s writing, Katherine’s character itself, the circumstances or all of these things combined made it a book that truly spoke to me. For anyone struggling to overcome the loss of a loved one or even a transition into a new stage of life I would highly recommend this book; as well as to those who enjoy beautifully written historical fiction or just an amazing young adult novel. Dangerous Neighbors is about love, trust, friendship, loss, grief, hope, and so much more. You would be missing a great deal if you didn’t pick up this book some time in the very near future.”—There's a Book

"Even though this novel was geared toward the Young Adult audience, I still think many adults will love (and appreciate) this story. In fact, I think DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS would make an excellent discussion group for book clubs of all ages. There are a host of themes to discuss including family dynamics, sisterly love, devotion, guilt, loss, faith, forgiveness, and redemption. It truly is a beautiful story that will resonate with many readers -- and it deserves to be discussed!"—Booking Mama
 
"Kephart creates a melancholy, almost surreal atmosphere that reminds me of the classic, The Awakening by Kate Chopin." — Novel Novice

"But "Dangerous Neighbors" should be read and hand-sold by booksellers, and sold by word of mouth promotion. It's very, very good, and this novel could definitely work well in a writing class--showing young writers what can be done with words.  Kephart is clearly a writing talent who not only deftly imagines but also really works at getting the details right." — Pretty Freaky
 
This book is full of love, loss, guilt, and peace. This is a tall order to fill but Kephart's writing brings it all together into 192 pages. Yes, 192 pages can you believe it?—Jenny Loves to Read

"Dangerous Neighbors is a quietly powerful and poignant novel that kept me enthralled the whole time. It's a lot shorter than I expected it to be - only 166 pages - but I feel that its brevity only enriched the story. Once again, the main thing that stands out in this novel - and all of Beth Kephart's novels - is the writing. All of the words were so deliberately picked, the descriptions were like poetry, and awkward phrases were nonexistent. Kephart can put things into words that the rest of us cannot, and in such a beautiful and touching way as well."—Book Crumbs

"However even with the shortness of the book, Kephart still packs a mighty heavy punch with this book. It is deeply engrossing and very emotional. There needs to be more YA like this and I really do like YA historical fiction. Here's to another beautiful read from Beth Kephart and I'm looking forward to more from her." — Books, Movies, and Chinese Food  
 
"It is about sisters, especially twin sisters, and how they are a part of each other. It is about the inevitable maturing and ultimate growing apart of siblings. It is about the world in 1876 and one parent’s fight for equality. It is about having someone to care for and how that spark of caring can change everything." — Ed Goldberg, 5-star Young Adults Book Central review

"Dangerous Neighbors includes all of the elements from Kephart's dream. Having made an impression with several beautifully-written, deeply-felt novels about contemporary teens for the YA market, this is the author's first work of historical fiction. However, even with the change in time period and the use of third-person narration (also a first in Kephart's fiction), this is clearly a Beth Kephart work - beautifully written and deeply felt."—Reading, 'Riting, and Randomness

"It is a beautiful, so beautiful, story of one’s unravelling, of sour realisation and self-awareness: it begins with a fragmented Katherine and ends with a Katherine in the way to putting the pieces back together (although not all pieces). This is a precious little gem, and I loved it." — The Book Smugglers

"In the end, this is a novel about betrayal and guilt, hope and despair, love, loss, and new beginnings. And it's beautifully written. I definitely recommend it if you enjoy well written novels that stay with you for a time after reading. Haunting. Yes, I think Katherine and her journey will stick with me for some time."—Amy's Book Obsession

"Beth's claim to fame is her poetic prose, and there is no shortage of it here.  I like to mark memorable passages as I'm reading, but I might as well have marked the entire book." — You've GOTTA Read This!


"Despite its brevity, though, Dangerous Neighbors is never quick or flippant. It plumbs the depths of real emotion and rests there. In a more shallow vein, I did enjoy the encounter with the Centennial Fair, which brought to mind pleasant memories of other World’s Fair encounters I’ve had."—Word Lily

"Since the author, Beth Kephart, is a friend and marvelous writer who has published numerous memoirs and other works for big folks, the book’s vividness and delightful style were just what I expected; she brings the Centennial era startlingly to life. I’ve known, too, that recent books for teens offer edgy content. The surprise, for me, was the level of maturity with which Beth felt she could treat the theme without losing her audience. The book does have a happy ending, of course. Lovely young Katherine does not jump off the tower."—Sam Gridley 

"Beth Kephart has written another must-read book for teens in this story of a group of teens who travel to a Mexican border town to work to help the residents there. She isn't afraid to tackle such big issues as parental pressure, anorexia, and death, and she does it all with compassion, honesty, and beautiful writing." — Mandy King, The Boulder Book Store, Boulder, CO/Spring 2010 Children's Indie Next List

"So carefully, so elegantly, [Kephart] brings a mature literary sensibility to the teenage world. Her books are objects of both beauty and worth; small things, like the young girls who populate them, that nonetheless carry great value. For all the quiet ones out there, she is not to be missed." — Colleen Mondor, Bookslut

"Nuanced characterizations and lyrical writing distinguish Beth Kephart's oeuvre...." — Mary Quattlebaum, Washington Post Book World
 
"The writing is vivid. Readers will visualize Anapra’s desolation and hope. They will feel the dust storms. They will relate to the teens.... Beth Kephart is a must read YA author.” — Starred Review, VOYA
 
“Kephart's writing sings a quiet, contemplative song, a song vividly conscious of the world around it (as is Georgia, who lives behind a camera for part of this book).” — Word Lily

The Heart is Not a Size is a book that will make you want to go out in the world and do something that matters. It will take you into a community that you likely will never visit, and it will make you think about how much you have and what you really need. No surprise that the writer behind this inspiring and thought-provoking novel is Beth Kephart.” — Shelf Elf


“Coping with loss and uncovering secrets are staples of YA fiction, but Kephart skillfully uses nuanced characters and resonant imagery to make the familiar feel new and magical.... .” — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“The style is elegantly polished yet tender, with the book deftly illuminating complicated emotions and relationships in quick flashes of interaction...”
Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books, Starred Review

“The lovely things in these characters' lives—pebble gardens and groves of apple trees, an old painting of "a metropolis" that her father restores (or, as he says, "resolves") late at night in his studio-shed, an honest-to-goodness riddle-filled mystery—are like something from a dream, but Kephart's writing isn't what you'd call dreamy, poetic as it is. It's solid and serviceable, beautiful in its well-madeness like an antique chair.” —Katie Haegle, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Kephart’s language is diamond-sharp and bright." — Liz Rosenberg, Boston Globe
 
"Beth Kephart’s dazzling new novel is wise and wonderful, certain to be a revelation for young adult readers." —Ellen Trachtenberg, Book Page



"... Kephart is a beautiful writer, a gatherer of fine details." — Liz Rosenberg, Boston Globe

"...what stands out in this introspective novel is the sheer loveliness of its prose." — Kirkus, Starred Review

"Poetically expressed memories and moving dialogue both anchor and amplify the characters’ emotions." —Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review

"... the piercing emotions and family situations, described with lyrical beauty, will hit home with readers who enjoy gentle, emotional journeys, such as Lynne Rae Perkins’ Newbery Medal–winner Criss Cross (1995)."— Booklist



"About a wallflower who ghostwrites love notes for the boys in her class, Cyrano-style - until she meets one that she wants for herself. Lyrical but never sappy, this is probably the most beautifully written book we've read this year. It's simply perfect." — Not Your Mother's Bookclub citation/A Top 2007 YA Book

“Through Elisa’s poems, letters, and descriptions, Kephart perfectly plumbs the thoughts and feelings of an adolescent girl.” — Kirkus, Starred Review

“… readers will fall easily into the compelling premise and Elisa’s memorable, graceful voice, and have no trouble recognizing the teen’s quiet courage as she leaves her comfortable isolation, claims her own talents, and embraces the people who matter most.” — Booklist, Starred Review

“Neatly balancing action and contemplation, Kephart offers a plethora of images, ideas about literature and even some well-known poems along with a plot that will speak to many teens.” — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“... this is a book that no serious-minded teen will want to miss, and high-school teachers may also take note as it has a well-crafted and highly teachable text.” — School Library Journal, Starred Review

“An unusual story, beautifully told.” —Kliatt



“Kephart’s Flow is just a sumptuous book—haunting, poetic, lit up with gems of beauty and history.”— Buzz Bissinger

Flow is seductive, thrilling, irresistible, life-changing. You cannot help but be swept away.” — Sy Montgomery

Flow adapts the river’s motion, winding past local events and retelling them with an imaginative and poignant voice.”  —Main Line Today Magazine

“Most autobiographies are a shameful, voyeuristic addiction of the public (thanks Paris, Monica L. and Jenna). But when a river—yes, a free flowing watercourse—releases an autobiography, it goes proudly on your coffee table to advertise your intelligent indie reading. Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River is chock full of memories and moments from the river's lifetime. Okay, so it was penned by Beth Kephart, a regional writer whose résumé overflows with awards. But the powerful words and imaginative musings come directly from the rises of the river, with retellings from poignant events dating back to the colonial era.” — AroundPhilly.com

"Kephart is a master not only of descriptive memory, but of constructing an existential vocabulary. Thus the river is born, becomes aware, is besieged, comes to terms with abuse, half-wishes to be abandoned, and nearly loses hope." —Nathaniel Popkin, City Paper 

Zenobia…could be the most enjoyable, readable business book in recent memory”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Zenobia is an engrossing read that provides readers with honest enjoyment. The concepts it presents are often astonishing in their simplicity. Logically, we all understand that in order to succeed we must first have a plan and then be prepared to follow it. Most of us can expound on the virtue of being a good listener. However, the authors reveal the importance of these concepts not as declamations from business gurus but rather as lessons from an engaging heroine on a unique journey.

"Zenobia is a book for anyone who has lost his or her way in the business world, who feels stalled or who just needs a little inspiration. Moira’s story is a reminder of what can be achieved in business and in life when we aren’t afraid to take risks and show some courage."

Soundview Executive Book Summaries


ADDITIONAL PRAISE 

Beth Kephart… is a gifted, even poetic writer.”

The New York Times Book Review

“It’s nearly impossible for an evocation of a garden, of flowers and air and branches and breath, to move itself to paper, but in (Ghosts in the Garden), with gorgeous prose and startling imagery by Beth Kephart, and with intimate, striking photography by William Sulit. A garden and a life are captured.”

—Susan Straight

“(Seeing Past Z) is about the power and the necessity of the imagination….  Kephart’s writing is so clear, so nonpreachy, that you just want to jump in and join her.”

Los Angeles Times Book Review

Seeing Past Z is a moving, beautifully evoked reminder of what it means to be truly present as a parent, so that our children can someday leave us, whole and wholly themselves.”

— Kate Moses

“Richly evocative prose that can only be called masterful…a revelation and a feast.”

— Andre Dubus III

“As lush as the mountainous rain it depicts, Still Love is a poetic evocation of Salvadoran life, its magic and tragedies.”

—Bernadette Murphy, Los Angeles Times

“Writing as brilliantly as she does about love might have been enough even for someone of her intelligence and depth.  But in this memoir she demonstrates that she can go further.  Kephart is able to generalize from her personal experience to the greater human one.”

—Wendy Gimble, Washington Post

“This luminous memoir (goes) deep into the territory of her marriage, and straight to the heart of the embattled, beautiful country her husband calls home.”

— Katrina Kenison

“For Beth Kephart, friendship is more than casual sociability:  it’s a gift, it’s an art form, it’s a righteous cause, and it’s civilization’s unifying force.  She writes with winning passion; her sentences are crafted from measured complements of love and intelligence.”

— Ken Kalfus

Kephart’s prose is luminous, her story so moving that I savored it, read and reread it within days.  It is a powerful testimony—a hope-giving book.

The Sun


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