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Ashes to Asheville by Sarah Dooley

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This novel for middle school youth garnered star reviews from three sources – Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal. The protagonist is twelve-year-old Fella. As the novel begins, Fella is living in West Virginia with Mrs. Madison, a grandmother she barely knows. She is there because, after the death of her mother, a judge has granted custody to Mrs. Madison instead of allowing her to remain in her own family with her sister and her mother’s female partner. Then one night, Fella’s sister Zoey shows up, and they take their mother’s ashes from the mantle of Mrs. Madison’s home, determined to return it to Asheville where their family was happy together. Thus begins their wild journey! “Dooley packs plenty of emotion into this eventful road trip . . . Breathless and engaging, Fella’s distinctive voice is convincingly childlike.” – Kirkus Reviews. “Dooley skillfully balances the troubling story of a family torn apart with Fella’s lively, humorous narrative . . . in this moving, entertaining, and thought-provoking tale.” – Publishers Weekly. This is the third youth novel by author, Sarah Dooley, a West Virginia native now living in Huntington. Dooley was the winner of the prestigious 2012 PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship.


New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2017. 243 pages. Hardback in dust jacket