If This Were a Story

If This Were a Story

by Beth Turley

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781534420618
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 08/28/2018
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 166,597
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Beth Turley is a graduate of the MFA in creative and professional writing program at Western Connecticut State University. She lives in southeastern Connecticut and teaches writing as an adjunct. If This Were a Story is her first novel.

Read an Excerpt

If This Were a Story



I measure how happy a day is with sounds. Happy days sound like a TV on low volume or birdcalls through a screen door. Sad days sound like dishes crashing into each other in the sink. Sad days sound like too-loud voices. Once a day is stained sad, it’s hard to make it happy again.

My class copies vocabulary into our notebooks. I write the words like an astronomer discovering a new planet, as if the definitions can unlock the secrets of outer space. “Instantaneous”: when something happens without any delay. “Iridescent”: the quality of changing colors when viewed from different angles. “Intention”: an aim or a plan.

The tip of my pencil breaks. I walk to the back of the room and shove my pencil into the sharpener. The grinding sound is a happy one. It means a new point, a shiny do-over.

On the way back to my desk, I see a small piece of paper crunched into a ball on the floor. I pick the paper up with the intention of throwing it away, but it looks like my name is written on it. I unravel the note and read the three words on a torn sheet of lined paper. The words fill my head with the sound of flying arrows, quiet and quick and aimed in my direction. A sad-day sound.

NOBODY LIKES HANNAH.

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