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Penguin Young Readers Omni Spring 2019

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The Line Tender
By (author): Kate Allen
9780735231603 Hardcover English Juvenile: Age (years) from 10, Grade (US) from 5 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Death, Grief, Bereavement Apr 16, 2019
$23.99 CAD
Active 5.78 x 8.54 x 1.32 in 384 pages Dutton Children's Books Dutton Books for Young Readers
Heartbreaking but also filled with wit and hope, The Line Tender is the story of Lucy, the daughter of a marine biologist and a rescue diver, and the summer that changes her life. If she ever wants to lift the cloud of grief over her family and community, she must complete the research her late mother began. She must follow the sharks.

Wherever the sharks led, Lucy Everhart’s marine-biologist mother was sure to follow. In fact, she was on a boat far off the coast of Massachusetts, collecting shark data when she died suddenly. Lucy was seven. Since then Lucy and her father have kept their heads above water—thanks in large part to a few close friends and neighbors. But June of her twelfth summer brings more than the end of school and a heat wave to sleepy Rockport. On one steamy day, the tide brings a great white—and then another tragedy, cutting short a friendship everyone insists was “meaningful” but no one can tell Lucy what it all meant. To survive the fresh wave of grief, Lucy must grab the line that connects her depressed father, a stubborn fisherman, and a curious old widower to her mother’s unfinished research on the Great White’s return to Cape Cod. If Lucy can find a way to help this unlikely quartet follow the sharks her mother loved, she’ll finally be able to look beyond what she’s lost and toward what’s left to be discovered.

Funny, poignant, and deeply moving, The Line Tender is a story of nature’s enduring mystery and the people willing to seek meaning and connection within it.

A gorgeously written and emotionally resonant debut. Kate Allen has produced a first novel that confidently navigates timeless middle grade terrain—family, grief, and hope for the future—with grace and wit.

An inspiring and charming heroine. Readers who loved the resilient, determined protagonists of The Thing About Jellyfish and Counting by Sevens will find a new favorite in Lucy Everhart.

A hilarious and ecclectic supporting cast. Allen surrounds Lucy with an irresistible group of friends and neighbors. There’s not a generic character anywhere in her Rockport, and if Mr. Patterson in particular doesn’t steal your heart, see a doctor.

An elegant, subtle connection between girls and STEM. Lucy’s encounter with her mother’s work and with her mother’s female protégé encourages readers to make deep connections between science and art.

A strong sense of place. Allen is a native New Englander, and her vivid and specific memories of her own childhood help her render Lucy’s Rockport.

Kate Allen grew up in Massachusetts and lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her family. The Line Tender is her first novel.

Author Residence: Minneapolis, MN

Author Hometown: Boston, MA

Marketing: 8-copy floor display


$143.92 ($191.92 CAN)

National media campaign

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Promotion at select consumer festivals

Online promotion and social media outreach

Extensive blogger outreach

Massive promotion at national school and library conferences

Librarian and educator outreach

“In following the adaptation of sharks to a shifting ecology, The Line Tender speaks to our own human capacity to adapt to loss—and Lucy’s losses are profound. This is a novel that stirs our deepest hope that we can survive profound change, that we can even move into new channels that will support us and nourish us and point us toward what we had never anticipated. This is a celebration of our ability to survive.”—Gary Schmidt, Newbery and Printz Honoree and National Book Award Finalist

“Lucy’s mother once swam with sharks. Now Lucy’s own healing is profoundly tied to these most feared creatures of the deep. Her journey of recovery, conveyed by Kate Allen in this lovely debut novel, is as captivating as the beauty and wonder of the natural world Lucy discovers over one eventful summer. This richly textured story calls us to our most pressing business on earth: to understand and respect the stunningly complex creatures around us before they disappear forever.”—Margi Preus, author of Heart of a Samuri, a Newbery Honor Book

Holy fish, this is a graceful, honest, special book. The Line Tender is a story of resilience. It’s about how unbelievably strong and resourceful kids can be. About the real magic in the world—the magic of science, the magic of survival, and the magic of love.”—Laurel Snyder, author of the National Book Award longlisted Orphan Island

“Heartbreaking and astonishingly beautiful.”—Joy McCullough, author of the National Book Award longlisted Blood Water Paint

“Smart, heartbreaking, and beautifully-written, this is the kind of book that will be swimming in the back of your brain months after you read it.”

—Lillian Tschudi-Campbell, The Red Balloon, St. Paul, MN

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