"Stunning.  Kephart's lyrical prose lingers with you long after the final page.  I simply didn't want it to end."— Ruta Sepetys, author of New York Times bestseller, Between Shades of Gray

"Small Damages is a wrenching celebration of choice. To read Kephart is to splendidly dream with both eyes open." — Rita Williams-Garcia, author of One Crazy Summer, winner of the Newbery Honor Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award

"As this delicate and luscious novel unfolds, the lines are blurred between love and loss, past and present, real and magical, and even life and death." — Kathryn Erskine, author of National Book Award winner Mockingbird

“’Dreamlike’ is one word for Beth Kephart’s latest novel ‘Small Damages’…[Kenzie’s] percolating story emerges through Kephart’s lilting prose in the same hazy way you’d meander through the narrow white streets of Seville…The reader is lost and found and lost and found again.” — Jen Doll, The New York Times Book Review

Small Damages, by Beth Kephart
One of my favorite literary writers of YA, Kephart has beautifully re-created the Spanish countryside for this contemporary novel about a teenage girl who’s exiled from her American home in order to hide the secret of her pregnancy. She leaves no sensation unexperienced, from the feel of the earth to the scent of oranges, and it’s hard to imagine getting any closer to Seville without a passport. (Kephart’s newest, Going Over, which alternates between East and West Germany, is another excellent candidate for this list.)  —Dahlia, Adler, Barnes and Noble Book Blog

Best YA Novel of the Year! Armchair BEA!
See details here.

2013 Carolyn W. Field Honor Book/Pennsylvania Library Association

Named to Bankstreet Best Children's Books of the Year List, Outstanding Merit
See details here.

Nominated for YALSA's 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults
See the link here.

Named to top three in Armchair BEA Best YA List, with John Green and CJ Redwine, here.

Named Most Lyrical YA Novel of the Year in the Atlantic Wire.

Named Best Contemporary YA Novel of the Year by Bookalicious.

Names Best Book of the Year by CaribousMom.

Named Best Written Book of the Year by A.A. Omer.

Named to Top Five Reads of the Year List by A.A. Omer.
Named to 25 Most Wonderful Book Covers of the Year by Atlantic Wire
Nominated for Cybils and Goodreads Honors

Named to Printz Watch by CMRLS Teen Scene 

Talking about the Best of lists here, in Book Business Magazine

End of Year Love from 1st Daughter  

Best of Year Listing from Sarah Laurence

Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review: 
Lovely and unusual—at once epic and intimate.  (Read the entire review here.)

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review:  
This beautifully written “summer of transformation” story will have readers feeling as torn about Kenzie’s choice as she is.  (Read the entire review here.)

Shelf Awareness, Starred Review:
Eager to see what Kenzie will do, we also wish to slow down, breathe in the smell of Estela's paella, the scent of the orange trees. As soon as the book ends, we want to begin it again. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

Philadelphia Inquirer, Review:
Small Damages is an often sad, quietly hopeful, and always vivid book that underlines the veracity of a therapeutic aphorism - love is, indeed, always a decision.  Full review here.

School Library Journal Review:
“This story is unexpectedly tender and original, never falling prey to cliché or the trappings of the typical teen problem novel.” See full review here. 

New York Journal of Books Review:
“Realistic . . . rendered in a quiet prose that speaks volumes.” See the full review here.

Differences Magazine:
"near perfection"

Publishers Weekly, Best New Books for the Week of July 16, 2012
(with Chris Bohjalian, James Lee Burke, Cynthia Carr, David Crist, Giorgio Faletti, Hali Felt, and Timothy Hallinan)
See the link here.

BookBrowse, Highly Recommended
"The alchemy between the landscape and the characters is magical. Truly. I finished Small Damages feeling both like I needed to visit Spain and had visited Spain all at the same time. And I certainly felt like I had come to know and love Kenzie, Estela and Esteban almost as much as they had with one other." — See the whole here.

I highly recommend this story to both young adult and adult readers.
Kirkus This Week's Recommended Teen Book, July 18, 2012, link here. 

Family Circle, August Issue:
"Kephart is a linguistic Midas—everything she puts to paper is golden, including this gem." See the clip.

BookPage Feature Interview, August Issue:
"Kephart has created a lyrical, beautiful story about a young woman at a turning point, struggling to reconcile her choices, find her place in the world and discover the true meaning of family." Read the whole interview here.

LA Times, 2012 Summer Reading Guide:
"Lovely."  To see all the books, go here

BookPage Handful of Teen Books that Adults Need to Read, July 19, 2012.
Link is here.

Small Damages chosen as a Bella Hot Beach Reads, June 25, 2012
To see the entire story, go here.

Twenty by Jenny:  Small Damages and Regeneration
Regeneration can mean the process of renewal, rebirth. In biology it can also mean the regrowth of lost parts. Often, it has a moral or spiritual connotation. Small Damages by Beth Kephart takes place in Spain, where 18-year-old Kenzie lives amongst the survivors of the Spanish Civil War. The “lost generation.” Kenzie is pregnant, about to give birth to a new generation. She literally embodies all of these permutations of the word “regeneration.”

She Knows Book Lounge, one of five hot YA picks "that will thrill adults readers as much as teenagers."
To see story, go here.

Bookslut Review:
Gracefully Kephart steers her protagonist through every emotion, every question and answer, and the conversations she has with her growing group of Spanish friends (notable for their wide range of age and circumstance) only make her journey that much more interesting. The Spanish setting, beautifully described throughout, adds an air of gentleness to the book's passages and makes this elegant title a novel of singular power. There are many books that treat teen pregnancy as a plot point, but Small Damages gives it the attention it deserves, and a character whose happily-ever-after is wonderful to watch unfold.  — November 2012 Column, Bookslut

BN Community Blog/Cover Story:
See link.

Dear Reader Teen Book Club Pick, September 3, 2012
Excerpts and Trailer.
View the trailer.

An excerpt can be found here.

"I have this feeling that when people write about Small Damages they'll write about how she evokes a feeling of Spain, of the details to the cooking, or the description of Seville. They might talk about teen pregnancy, choice, losing a parent. All of those things are great to talk about, but I want to talk about how much I love the way Beth writes about love."— Amy Riley, My Friend Amy

"Small Damages may be a novel, but at times, it reads like a poem. It moves slowly and even though not a lot happens, the book’s never boring. You get sucked into Kenzie’s life in Spain–the saffron, the oranges, the horses, the heat. Even if you’ve never lived in Spain while waiting to deliver a child (as I’m sure most of us have not), you’ll still understand the universal loss and confusion that often come along with growing up. More than the scenery, the smells, and tastes, what lingers from Small Damages are the feelings."—HelloGiggles

"I loved this novel and its appealing young protagonist. I loved the journey, and the discovery, the hope and the sadness, the path toward healing after trauma, the knowledge that we are never really alone, and that home is not a place on a map but the people who love you. Beth Kephart is an artist with words and Small Damages is another astonishing literary success." — CaribousMom

"I think a lot of people would say that it takes courage to embrace who you are. But, I believe, it takes even more courage to walk away from who you are in order to find out who you can be.  To capture that in these few words means they are everything words.  To explore this theme in a book means Small Damages is an everything book." — Melissa Sarno, This Too...

"It has been over a week since I finished Small Damages, and yet typing this, I can still feel the experience of being enveloped in Beth Kephart’s beautiful novel. I can feel the dust beneath my bare feet, hear the flamenco music, smell the oranges, taste the anchovies. It is very unlikely that I’ll ever visit Spain, but I feel like I already have memories of the place, thanks to this book. Beth obviously loves Spain, and every page is suffused with that love and longing." — Books and Movies

"I am in awe of Beth Kephart's mastery of the musicality of language, and haunted (in the best possible way!) by the beauty of these stories. As such, I will drop everything and read whatever story she sees fit to serve us next--and I highly recommend you do too." — The Year of Writing Dangerously

"I read this in one sitting. And then wanted to read it all over again." — Random Acts of Reading

"Small Damages’ characters are perfection. The image of brusque, plump Estela, the cook who does not give love easily, but once she does it is with her whole heart and soul, is vivid. The shy teenager, Esteban, who is more comfortable with his birds and horses than with people, is spot on. The Gypsies, to whom life is song, add a unique color to the tapestry of this story. The ancillary characters and plot lines are buttercream icing atop the tasty seven layer cake of Small Damages. If I were ever to set foot in Los Nietos, I would never leave. The themes–family need not be biological, home is the place where people love you, regrets cannot be undone–are exquisitely illustrated in Small Damages. Small Damages by Beth Kephart is Printz Award and National Book Award worthy, without a doubt."—Two Heads Together

"Characters are so fully realized, they could walk off the page.... Small Damages is on the short side but is nothing short of a glorious triumph for Kephart." 

This book was written beautifully and I really didn't want it to end.  You will pick it up and become so involved and wrapped up in Kenzie's life and her relationships with Estela and Esteban.  You will feel what Kenzie feels and understand her confusion about the choice she must make.  This is definitely a book I am going to buy when it comes out in stores! — Book Loving Mommy 

This book is not a long one, but again, like Gayle Forman's If I Stay, there is SO much punch packed into this slim volume. And without spoiling, I just want to say that the way Kephart chose to end this book is, in my opinion, PERFECT. It is one of those endings that just lifted me up and made my heart happy and hopeful.  I loved this book you guys, I love the journey that Kenzie takes, and I love the outcome of that journey. I think that the characters Beth Kephart has written are brilliant and I know they are going to stay with me for a very long time. I  hope, hope, hope that this little book gets the attention that it deserves. Small Damages has everything that I love about Young Adult (and New Adult) contemporaries and I know that this will not be the last book by Beth Kephart that I will read. — The Flyleaf Review

Sometimes I think reading so much makes me jaded. I open new books thinking: "yeah, book, how are you going to impress me?" This book didn't employ a single gimmick -- no razzle-dazzle premise or jaw-dropping plot twists or other trendy literary pyrotechnics.  It just told a story, movingly and beautifully. I highly recommend it! — Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

Kindness, passion, emotion, photographs and images, courage, thoughtfulness and choices are only a very few of the many layers that make up Beth Kephart the person. Within the pages of her new novel Small Damages she shares these important parts of herself with the world and does so eloquently. Beth’s characters shine through their shared experience with Kenzie and the decision she has before her. Small Damages by Beth Kephart is not only a coming of age story, but a story of discovery and one of love. A beautiful novel. Perhaps my favorite from Beth thus far. — There's A Book

It is not often that a book that makes you lose your breath. You read novel that makes you want to stand on top of a building and read the prose aloud to those walking below. Words that make you feel human and humble in the most gorgeous way.  If I could read Small Damages over and over again just like it was the first time I would never read another book again. This post is less of a review and more of a plea. Please go to your bookstore, or your library and bring this book home. Make yourself a glass of iced tea and sit in the sun and imagine that you too are in Spain and imagine the scents of Seville all around you while you read. —

I think it brings the author’s gifts as writer and storyteller (which are not always synonymous or co-occurring things) together more effectively than any of her earlier fiction has, and I feel that it will stay with me longer. If you haven’t gotten around to reading Beth Kephart yet, start here--Small Damages is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and it’s in bookstores and libraries today. — Florinda, 3Rs Book Blog 

Kenzie is marvelous. She's magnificent. She has both an artist's perception of the world and a teenager's self-absorbed blindness; Kenzie's not mean or selfish, but it takes time for her to see past her own (admittedly huge) concerns and sympathize with others. But she's funny and kind, and she really does care, and I'd love to carefully wrap my arm around her and help her heal, because I think she's definite BFF material.— Forever Young Adult

"There are books that pump your adrenaline for you and there are books, like Small Damages by Beth Kephart, that seep deep into your being, settle there, making their mark on your emotions, your perceptions about other cultures, and your own world view.  Kephart has a skill unlike other young adult authors in that she never sees her younger readers as incapable of understanding or of deep emotion.  She trusts them to follow her characters in their unusual circumstances and settings and garner a deeper understanding of what it means to mature from a child into an adult and the responsibilities that weigh on them even now when they are so young in this modern world." — Savvy Verse and Wit 

"This is a book that you want to curl up and read and read as long as your eyes will let you.  It is a trip to Spain filled with all of the warmth, personality and impressive history of that land.  The play of the modern American teen against that timeless background is pure genius, giving a story that could have been straight forward a real depth and power. This is an exceptional teen novel that will also be enjoyed by adult readers as a crossover title.  It is elegantly written and gloriously beautiful.  Appropriate for ages 15-18." — Waking Brain Cells

Beth Kephart has written a really special story that paints a very different picture of teenage pregnancy than the ones we see in the media all the time, and I’m thankful for it. SMALL DAMAGES doesn’t pull any punches about how hard it is to be young and on the verge of motherhood. The things you sacrifice, the changes you undergo, the feelings of responsibility for another life. It’s heavy stuff, written wonderfully. There are things about SMALL DAMAGES that I wish had MORE to them–Esteban, as well as a few things near the end. But I often find myself thinking about what happened to Kenzie and her baby after the end of SMALL DAMAGES, and I think that’s always a good sign. This is a truly lovely book that will leave its print on you. — Tripping Over Books

"This lovely little book is spare, quiet, and one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.  It is the sharp scent of orange and blinding white of sun and cool blue of shadows and night, heat and heart, sadness and soul.  I really can't do justice to its language with any of my own, so I'll just say that this is the author's love song to Spain - so much so that you'll be putting on a white dress and eating oranges and olives as you're savoring its pages.  Check out my new favorite novel @the library!" — West Allis Public Library Teens

"Simmering with secrets, savory flavor and dusty heat, this book is seasoned just right for summer." — Sarah Laurence

"In this life, none of us escapes unscathed. We're all left with damages, small and large. Through Kenzie's eyes, we see those and those of the people in her midst. We see the sting of regret, but we also see the power of choices. Small Damages reminds the reader that even when we think they aren't, our choices are still there, always ours for the making."—The Betty and Boo Chronicles

And for all 288 pages, I followed this young girl, whose narration flows in the most beautiful, most poetic of ways but who talks like a normal teenager, and I loved her. I wanted to hug her, tell her it would be okay. I wanted much for this heroine. You had me going, Beth, you tricky angel. But in the end, I was satisfied, like I’d eaten a plateful of paella until I was just starting to feel full. There’s a sense of accomplishment that washes over you when a thick stack of neat, beautiful book pages stands resolutely between your fingers and you know that you’ve read those words, seen them with your eyes, felt them tremble on your lips, tipping in, sinking in. I’m not sure that feeling is ever stronger than when I held Small Damages, the back cover closed behind the last word, and realized that I’d just come back from Spain, back from a beautiful, lyrical world that I am anxious to dive back into.— M.L.T.S.

"Small Damages is a great book that explores relationships and making choices.  The writing and characters are all well-done, and I really enjoyed this read." Breath of Books

"When I read that sentence, my heart started racing, I got chills, and I KNEW I was going to love this book because of the writing alone. I was not disappointed. The descriptive language in Small Damages is gorgeous. I could feel the heat and the dust of the country, see the crowds of Seville and hear the gypsy music play. The way Kenzie describes her surroundings also mirrors her mood throughout the book. It is desolate and depressing at first, and then gradually the beauty of the landscape comes out as Kenzie's mindset changes. — Love is Not a Triangle

Interviews and Essays
The BookPage interview can be found here.

The Philadelphia Daily News interview can be found here.

The Polyphony H.S. interview can be found here

The Publishing Business today interview can be found here.

The Publishing Perspectives profile can be found here.

The Penguin interview can be found here.

The Caroline Leavitt interview can be found here.

The Kissing the Earth interview can be found here.

The Joseph Glantz interview is here

A conversation about Small Damages with National Book Award winner Kathy Erskine can be found here.

My Shelf Awareness reflection on Small Damages is here

Translation rights 
Callenbach (Dutch)
La Martiniere Group (French)

Please address media inquiries to Jessica Shoffel, Jessica.Shoffel (at)


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