Jenny With a Why
It’s the beginning of sixth grade in 1989 and eleven-year-old Jenny with a “Y” is longing for a best friend to pass notes with and call at night on the telephone. So, it seems like fate when the new girl, Jenni with an “I”, shows up six weeks into the new school year, wants to be best friends, and invites Jenny to her very first sleepover. When her new friend's dad comes home from work, Jenny cowers, preparing for the inevitable rage triggered by spilled popcorn on the living room rug that always happens at her house. But there is no yelling. He shrugs it off when the pizza delivery driver is late. And he doesn’t destroy anything in anger.
In an instant, Jenny recognizes there’s something wrong with her family. Jenni isn’t fearful of her dad. She has no reason to be. But Jenny has every reason to be terrified of her dad.
At home, Jenny sets out to convince her mom they should leave with her brother and sister. She’s certain life will be better if they can just get away. Dad’s outbursts are ramping up, and finally, they have no choice but to flee. However, Jenny quickly realizes moving to a new apartment doesn’t automatically solve her problems; it even creates new ones. But with the support of new friends, maybe breaking the cycle is a real possibility.
The Weight of Water
Quinn has spent the majority of her life living in the shadow of grief after her brother drowned as a child. Though she doesn't have any memories of her older brother alive, her mother retreats from the world almost entirely and refuses to make any new ones, her new mission is to keep Quinn safe from everything that could harm her. Water, strangers, heartache, the unknown. But that safety completely isolates Quinn until she isn't sure where her own insecurities and fears begin and where her mother's end. When Quinn gets the opportunity to study abroad at an English boarding school for her senior year, her mother is furious she would even consider it and demands she give it up. Quinn's first act of rebellion opens the door to what life might look like if you actually live it. When two new friends, Amelia and Oliver, come into her world, Quinn isn't sure she could ever go back to her safe, lonely world, even if it means losing her mother completely.