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Selected Works

The sequel to SHEEP.
Diminutive, shy, and quiet, sixth-grader Minnie McClary learns how to use her power and her voice to stand up for what she knows is right. A Bankstreet College Book Of The Year!
A homeless dog and a homeless girl find each other and start a new life together. A Bankstreet College Book Of The Year!
"The victory of the human spirit shines through Defiance like the sun."
--Suzanne Fisher Staples
A Kirkus and School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
Life changes for Lucy when she visits her grandmother at the end of a very special summer. A Booklist Best Books of the Year book
The heartwarming story of a dog and boy who find each other when hope is nearly gone. A California Young Reader Medal Winner!
Young Adult action and romance. Now available as an ebook on Amazon Kindle A BIG PICTURE award winner!
The book that jumpstarted my career and won me a Flying Start award from Publisher's Weekly. Young Adult (12-18). An American Library Association Best Book Of the Year
In the late 1960's, fourteen-year-old Cory's life is greatly changed by the sudden death of her father and her brother's tour of duty in Vietnam. A Bankstreet College best book of the year
"With all my heart, I loved Bobby James Walker. I forgave him, too. But I did not want to see him anymore. Not then, and maybe not ever." Sally Jo Walker An American Library Association best book for reluctant readers
An endearing young couple's search for independence and identity. A New York Library Best 100 Books Of The Year
An elderly couple fall in love and elope to Yellowstone. IBBY award winner

Call It A Gift

Jeronimo Smith, seventy-seven, is having a particularly bad day, and he needs the poems of William Butler Yeats to get him through it. But the book has just been checked out of the Santa Barbara Public Library. When he accosts the widow who has it, he meets the woman who will become of he love of his life. They're an unlikely pair--Jeronimo a retired janitor, Emily cultured and wealthy--and both are coping with troublesome adult children and the indignities of aging. Jeronimo courts Emily by mowing her lawn, and when he impetuously invites her to join him on a road trip to Yellowstone, she stuns herself by agreeing.

Their elopement is a once-in-a lifetime adventure and the setting for a bittersweet love story. The two must wrestle with balancing family responsibilities with their own needs, with coming to terms with old prejudices and with the need to stay close to what is wild in the world and in themselves, despite pressures to age "sensibly." When a life-threatening illness forces them to make a wrenching decision about their future together, they conclude that life, whatever its challenges, is meant to be lived fully to its very end. Call It a Gift is resplendent with profoundly human characters and beautiful settings, unforgettable in the way it reminds us that romance and adventure are not merely for the young. The mysteries and poignant intensity of old age have seldom been depicted with such perception, nor in a story so eminently readable.