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readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Friday, June 12, 2009

June recommend: Hold Me Tight

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"In Miami, Florida, ten-year-old Essie has trouble finding the strength and courage to overcome her feelings of fear, guilt, and shame when her father abandons their family, a classmate is kidnapped, and then a family friend molests her." Annotation from Barnes & Noble

Lorie Ann here! I have to thank the postergirlz for recommending my most recent novel, Hold Me Tight, to accompany Sara Zarr's Sweethearts. It is such an honor!

Like Cameron's disappearance, Chris in my novel disappears. My main character, Essie, is left wondering what has happened and where Chris is.

Essie seeks to define herself in the midst of her trials as Jenna has worked so hard to do by the opening of her story. Both girls experience abuse from adults and try to manage it. Both have childhood sweethearts. Yes, I see the similarities!

Here are a few facts that are little known about Hold Me Tight:

* Essie is mostly me.
* My brothers really are named Dale and Kevin.
* I did know a boy in 5th grade who sat in front of me and was kidnapped. He was shot, stabbed, and left for dead in the Everglades.
* I saw Chris, as an adult, on Oprah and Dateline.
* A reporter was able to reconnect us when my book launched.
* Chris' daughter wrote me when she was 10 and thanked me for writing about her father's experience as it gave her more understanding. (How full circle is that?)

Thank you, postergirlz, for the nod for Hold Me Tight! I'm so touched to be among your amazing June recommends!

7 comments:

holly cupala said...

I loved this book - I read it even before I knew you, Lorie Ann, and it made me want to know you! Readergirlz, it's a beautiful, heartfelt read.

Little Willow said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us, in more ways than one.

J. Kaye said...

Wanted to stop by and give you the heads-up. Your blog was mentioned as A Book Blogger’s New Discovery by Debbie’s World of Books.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thanks much, everyone!

Beth Kephart said...

How incredible, Lorie Ann, that so much of this book is true. I'm shaking my head.

Melissa Walker said...

WOW! I love those little-known facts, Lorie Ann! The connection with Chris is inspiring.

Erin said...

That is SO cool about Chris' daughter. So.