The peer assessment committee—Cheryl Foggo, June Hur and Tom Ryan—praised the novel:
"Seamlessly moving between the poetic and the grounded, Everett weaves a heartwarming and heartbreaking tale that lingers. By the time readers reach the emotional climax of this surprising, powerful and beautifully written novel, they’ll be inclined to return to the beginning and read it again from the perspective of someone who knows what’s coming."
Sarah Everett is the author of several books for young readers, including How to Live Without You, Some Other Now and the forthcoming The Shape of Lost Things. She has been writing stories since childhood, and her work has been published in 11 languages. When she is not reading or writing, she is dreaming about summer, perfecting her tree pose or gearing up for her next travel adventure. She lives in the Canadian prairies.
Imagine you could spend a day with any author, living or dead. Who would you choose, what would you do, and what would you talk about?
E.B. White’s writing had the most memorable and impactful effect on me as a kid. Reading Charlotte’s Web at eight, it was a complete revelation to me that bittersweet endings existed—in books and in life. The experience was deeply formative for me as a reader and as a writer. I think I’d pick his brain about writing complex emotions and experiences (for young readers and for adults) over a cup of coffee or tea.
What advice would you give your ten-year-old self about the future?
I’d tell ten-year-old Sarah to be more courageous. Live honestly, read fearlessly, write bravely.
Your book The Probability of Everything tells the story of eleven-year-old Kemi Carter, who loves scientific facts and grows concerned when she realizes there’s a strong probability that an asteroid will strike the Earth within four days. What did you enjoy most about bringing Kemi to life as a character?
I really loved spending time in a world and a family that is as full of love as Kemi’s is, but my favourite place to be truly was in Kemi’s brain. She is smart and analytical and observant, and finding ways for her to use those skills to process her big emotions was a fun challenge. One of the biggest questions I faced while writing was figuring out how an eleven-year-old girl would view and experience the end of the world, and to be honest, it stumped me for a while. But when I went back to who Kemi is at heart, the answer became very clear: science, data, theories, facts. She’d use the concrete to make the unthinkable manageable.
In an alternate life, who would you be if you were not a writer?
I’ve always been interested in human behaviour, especially behaviour that is unexpected or "abnormal." In another life, I’d be a clinical psychologist.
What was the last book by a Canadian author that changed you in some way?
I just finished Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey, and I related to it so much more than I expected to. Biographically, my life and the main character’s life are very different, but there is something so familiar and cathartic about watching someone else’s ungraceful coming-of-age. Apparently adulthood is exactly like high school: you thought everyone else had it figured out, and then it turns out, blessedly, that none of us do.