Spare and powerful, this unique story touches on themes of faith, family secrets, the cult of celebrity - and ultimately hope.
Janine Friedman is famous. She’s the miraculous ‘soul survivor’ of a suicide bombing in a Jerusalem synagogue ten years ago. The bombing killed both her parents and changed not only her life, but also that of Dave Armstrong, the tourist who dug her out of the rubble and ‘found God’ as a result. Most people can remember where they were when it happened – the image of that little girl with her bleeding, ruined hands being dragged into the light.
Ten years on, Janine just wants to forget the past, though the nightmares persist. Sure, she avoids cameras and journalists like the plague, and her hands will never be quite right, but she’s one leg of a ‘tripod’ of friends – Miriam and Abe are always there for her – and the most she’s worrying about is whether she should settle for boyfriend Dan or still go after gorgeous Tyler.
Janine always knew the tenth anniversary would be tough. But then Abe is nearly killed in a road accident and ‘miraculously’ survives. Another boy gets out of his wheelchair and starts to walk… And the common denominator is Janine, with her supposedly healing powers.
With Dave Armstrong back in town, Janine finds herself at the centre of a media storm. Forced to look more deeply into the past, she must finally seek the truth about her parents, her hands, and the terrible day that shaped her life. What does she really believe about all three – and about herself?
US/Canada: Carolrhoda Lab (Fall 2013)
Booklists Top Ten Spirituality and Religion Books for Youth 2013
The titles in Booklists’ shortlist selection look at the impact religion and spirituality can have on the lives of young people.
Sarah Aronson is the versatile author of YA novels HEADCASE and BELIEVE. BEYOND LUCKY was her MG debut, and she is now writing a chapter-book series, THE WISH LIST, which launches in 2017 with Scholastic. Her picture book biography of Rube Goldberg will publish with Beach Lane in 2018.
Sarah is also a creative writing teacher, and she lives in Illinois with her family.