Buy One, Get One 50% Off Our Monthly Picks!
Shop Now
If This Were a Story

If This Were a Story

by Beth Turley


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Friday, June 3


“An imaginative debut.” —Booklist
“Hannah’s growth is organic and well earned.” —Publishers Weekly

In the tradition of Crenshaw and The Thing About Jellyfish, ten-year-old Hannah copes with the bullies at school and troubles at home through the power of stories in this sweet and sincere debut.

Tenacious. That means strong-willed. My mother calls me that.

I wish I felt the same way.

If this were a story, I would discover I was a direct descendent of a famous soldier who won countless battles and protected hundreds of people. This resilience running through my veins wouldn’t be damaged by the notes; it would fight off bullies and prevent my parents from yelling at each other.

But this is not a story. This is real life. My life as ten-year-old Hannah Geller, who is the only girl in fifth grade to have little red bumps on her face, is unable to let the sad thoughts escape her mind, and leaves heads-up pennies wherever she can to spread good luck.

And who also finds magic in the most unlikely of places.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781534420618
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 08/28/2018
Pages: 256
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 and writes in southeastern Connecticut, where the leaves changing color feels like magic and the water is never too far away. She is the author of If This Were a Story, The Last Tree Town, and The Flyers. Visit her on Twitter @Beth_Turley.

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.


Customer Reviews