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Dundurn Winter 2021

  • Other Formats

    9781459746190 PDF, $14.99 CAD 9781459746206 EPUB, $8.99 CAD
  • Reading Levels

    Lexile measure: HL600L
  • Sales Rights

    For sale with exclusive rights in: WORLD
  • Supply Detail (CA)

    Distributor: UTP Distribution Supplies to: CA Availability: Reprinting Expected Ship Date: Dec 08, 2021 On Sale Date: Feb 16, 2021 Carton Quantity: 40 $14.99 CAD
  • Supply Detail (GB US)

    Distributor: Ingram Publisher Services Supplies to: GB US Availability: Available On Sale Date: Mar 16, 2021 Carton Quantity: 40 $12.99 USD
    $9.99 GBP
  • Catalogues

Nothing but Life
By (author): Brent van Staalduinen



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


Young Adult : Interest age, years 15 - 18, Reading age, years 15 - 18
Feb 16, 2021
$14.99 CAD


8in x 5 x 1 in | 250 gr

Page Count:

304 pages
Dundurn Press
Children’s / Teenage fiction: School stories|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Death and bereavement|Southwestern Ontario: Greater Toronto Area
Golden Horseshoe
White Pine Award 2022, Short-listed CCBC's Best Books for Kids and Teens (Fall 2021) 2021, Commended
During a sweltering summer, Dills must come to terms with a horrific crime and the parent he loves who committed it.

Dills and his mom have returned to Hamilton, her hometown, hoping to leave the horrors of Windsor behind. But it’s impossible to escape the echoes of tragedy, and trouble always follows trouble.

When Dills hurts a new classmate, it comes out in court that he was in the Windsor High library when the shooter came in. But he won’t talk about what he saw, what he still sees whenever he closes his eyes. He can’t. He definitely can’t tell anyone that the Windsor Shooter is his stepfather, Jesse, that Jesse can speak into his mind from hundreds of kilometres away, and that Dills still loves him even though he committed an unspeakable crime.

Story locale: Hamilton, Ontario, and Windsor, Ontario

  • After surviving a school shooting, a teen struggles with violence towards his peers and why he still loves his stepfather who committed the shooting
  • Gun violence is a pressing issue in the U.S., with 94 school shootings in 2018, the highest on record
  • Magical realism permeates the otherwise realistic narrative; Dills can hear his stepfather's voice even though he's far away
  • Author has two previous coming-of-age novels for adults, award-winning Saints, Unexpected, and Boy; this is his YA debut

Brent van Staalduinen is the author of two novels for adults and is an award-winning short story writer. A former tree planter, army medic, radio host, and high school English teacher, Brent now finds himself looking for stories and working at the local public library. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

  • Consumer, trade, and wholesaler advertising campaign
  • Social media campaign and online advertising
  • Newsletter campaign to consumers, librarians, and booksellers
  • Goodreads giveaway
  • ARC mailing to booksellers, librarians, and bookstagrammers
  • Publicity campaign to targeted media and influencers
  • Advance reading copies available: Print ARCs, NetGalley, Edelweiss, Catalist
  • Free downloadable Teachers' Resource Guide
  • Book hashtag: #NothingButLife
  • Author Website: brentvanstaalduinen.com
  • Author Facebook: BrentvanStaalduinen
  • Author Twitter: @brentvans
  • Author Instagram: @brentvans

For more information contact
[email protected]

In Nothing but Life, Brent van Staalduinen offers readers what the news often fails to provide in the wake of a mass shooting — what remains in the aftermath beyond sensationalism and how those affected grieve. In following a young boy and his family's journey toward healing after someone they love commits unthinkable violence, this novel sings with sorrow, yes, but also with great empathy and love. - Anne Valente, author of The Desert Sky Before Us

Capturing perfectly the tender chaos of adolescence, Nothing but Life grabs you by the heartstrings and won’t let go. Beautifully written and satisfyingly redemptive. - Roz Nay, bestselling author of Hurry Home

As Dills tells his story and shares the worst and weirdest summer of his life, it feels deliciously like eavesdropping. A compelling read. - Karen Bass, author of Two Times a Traitor

Brent van Staalduinen has once again created an unforgettable character and voice. In Dills, he brings forth our seething, hurting unpredictability along with all of our innocence, reminding us that love is that thing which complicates us and yet also, ultimately, makes us who we are. Nothing but Life is a gentle and yet razor-sharp look into what hurts and heals us, filled with a wisdom that permeates every sentence. - Amanda Leduc, author of The Centaur's Wife

van Staalduinen writes with clarity and ease ... A moving portrayal of a complex situation that will appeal to teenagers mature enough to read about school shootings. - School Library Journal

van Staalduinen does an excellent job of capturing a teen voice and capturing Dills's emotional and challenging journey towards healing. - Canadian Children's Book News, starred review

... by writing with much seriousness, Brent van Staalduinen makes the reader realize that a story about a young man reclaiming his life rather than living it as the legacy of his stepdad's military PTSD or his own trauma associated with the shooting is sombre and requires thoughtfulness and compassion. - CanLit for Little Canadians

A lovely examination of how families can break and heal over time ... a great read. - Read and Reviewed

Well-balanced with doses of humour, the plot and cast of characters are likely to capture and maintain readers' interest, qualities that make it likely to be much enjoyed by the target audience. Recommended. - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

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