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Young Adult Fiction General

How to Tend a Grave

A Voyage to the Front Line of Climate Change

by (author) Jocelyn Shipley

Great Plains Publications
Initial publish date
Apr 2012
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2012
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Grade: 7 to 8


When Liam's mom dies, he thinks life can't get any worse. He's wrong. Forced to live with a grandfather he has never known, in a small town where Youth and Crime are king and queen of a hick-town gang, Liam only wants to be left alone. Not easy, considering the gang's favourite hangout is the cemetery where his mom is buried. A popular place, this cemetery, as there he meets Harmony, a gorgeous but unusual girl who records the names of all the babies buried there long ago. Like Liam, she has a secret.

The very different stories of these two grieving fifteen-year-olds interweave brilliantly in this fast-paced, engaging and unforgettable book about family, love and healing.

About the author

Born in London, Ontario, Jocelyn always knew she would be a writer. She has attended The Humber School for Writers, and writes for both children and adults. Her award-winning stories have appeared in anthologies, newspapers and magazines. Her books for teens include Getting A Life, Cross My Heart and Seraphina's Circle. Getting a Life and Cross My Heart were Canadian Children's Book Centre "Our Choice" selections. Seraphina's Circle was nominated for the 2007/2008 BC Stellar Award, listed in Resource Links Best of 2006, and featured in the Anne of Green Gables Book Club.

Jocelyn Shipley's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"an enticing and recommended pick for young adult fiction collections."- Midwest Book Review


"Highly recommended"- CM Magazine

Librarian Reviews

How to Tend a Grave

Liam’s mom is killed in a hit-and-run and he’s forced to live with his grandfather in a small town with a nasty local gang. At the cemetery where his mom is buried he meets Harmony, a gorgeous but unusual girl who has had a miscarriage. Besides their grief, both Liam and Harmony have secrets.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

Other titles by Jocelyn Shipley