Ode to a Nobody
Before the storm, thirteen-year-old Quinn was happy flying under the radar. She was average. Unremarkable. Always looking for an escape from her house, where her bickering parents fawned over her genius big brother.
Inside our broken home / we didn’t know how broken / the world outside was.
But after the storm, Quinn can’t seem to go back to average. Her friends weren’t affected by the tornado in the same way. To them, the storm left behind a playground of abandoned houses and distracted adults. As Quinn struggles to find stability in the tornado’s aftermath, she must choose: between homes, friendships, and versions of herself.
Nothing that was mine / yesterday is mine today.
Told in rich, spectacular verse, Caroline Brooks DuBois crafts a powerful story of redemption as Quinn makes her way from Before to After. There’s nothing average about the world Quinn wakes up to after the storm; maybe there’s nothing average about her, either. This emotional coming-of-age journey for middle grade readers proves that it’s never too late to be the person you want to be.
Caroline Brooks DuBois received her MFA in poetry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, under the scholarship of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James Tate, among other greats in the poetry world. Caroline’s debut novel, The Places We Sleep (Holiday House 2020), is an NCTE Notable Book in Poetry and A Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year and received a Starred Review from School Library Journal. Her second novel, Ode to a Nobody, (Holiday House 2022) has received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal. Caroline is the director of the Literary Arts Conservatory at Nashville School of the Arts High School in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her singer-songwriter husband, with whom she’s co-written songs, and their two children and dog.