Just Under the Clouds

Forthcoming from Knopf Books for Young Readers June 5, 2018

Always think in threes and you’ll never fall, Cora’s father told her when she was a little girl. Two feet, one hand. Two hands, one foot. That was all Cora needed to know to climb the trees of Brooklyn.

But now Cora is a middle schooler, a big sister, and homeless. Her mother is trying to hold the family together since her father’s death, and Cora must look after her sister, Adare, who’s just… different, their mother insists. Quick to smile, Adare hates wearing shoes, rarely speaks, and appears untroubled by the question Cora can’t help but ask: How will they find a place to call home?

After their room at the shelter is ransacked, Cora’s mother looks to an old friend for help. But even with a new place to live, it is Cora’s discovery of Ailanthus altissima, the “tree of heaven,” which can grow in even the worst conditions, that sets her on a path to discover a deeper truth about where she really belongs.