Christina Collins is launching her poignant and lyrical middle-grade debut novel After Zero in September and we are thrilled to be hosting her launch party! Come meet Christina in person, hear all about her new book, and get your own copy signed.
"A powerful and poetic novel about the power of words to shape who we are and who we can be. Elise's journey will speak to anyone who has struggled to find their voice, overcome their doubts, and discover their own self worth." - John David Anderson, author of Granted and Posted
"An eloquent journey through the pain of growing up, this tender and truthful book stays with you long after the words have gone." - Patricia Forde, author of The List
"A gripping debut novel about a girl struggling to find her voice and discover her past." - Carol Weston, author of Speed of Life and Girltalk
"After Zero takes us into the world of selective mutism and helps us find a story in the silence. For an interconnected generation that can sometimes assume silence is ignorance or a personal slight, this is a must read. Readers will take to Elise right away: she is smart and earnest, and like many of us, social norms can elude her. The story moves along quickly to broach themes of forgiveness and friendship. But most importantly, it reminds us of so many loved ones of those suffering from anxiety or depressive disorders who want to shout, 'Just speak! Just say something! Just be normal!' Now we get to walk with Elise and understand her struggles. It is a story that will hopefully foster empathy and maybe even communication with all our 'quiet' peers." - Wesley King, author of OCDaniel
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Elise keeps a notebook full of tallies, each stroke marking a word spoken. A word that can't be taken back. Five tallies is not so bad. Two is pretty good. But zero is perfect. Zero means no wrong answers in class, no secrets spilled, no conversations to agonize over at night. But now months have passed, and Elise isn't sure she could speak even if she wanted to. Not to keep her only friend, Mel, from drifting further away, or to ask if anyone else has seen her teacher's stuffed raven come to life. Then, a shocking family secret helps Elise realize that her silence might just be the key to unlocking everything she's ever hoped for…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Christina Collins grew up in Massachusetts and now lives across the pond in Northern Ireland, where she’s always on the lookout for castle ruins and secret gardens. She holds an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University and is pursuing a PhD in creative writing at Queen's University Belfast. She has taught at both universities and been a writer-in-residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts as well as the Art Commune program in Armenia. Her Pushcart Prize-nominated short fiction and poetry have appeared in more than a dozen publications, including Jabberwock Review and NonBinary Review. After Zero is her debut novel.