Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 7 to 12
Charlotte’s life is changed forever when her parents’ marriage breaks up, and Charlotte has to leave her beloved house and her old life behind. Then two very different boys cross her path, and a new emotion creeps into her sadness and anger — an emotion that is both confusing and sweet.
Charlotte falls in love with Carlo, tries to stay friends with tough-guy Sulzer and faces the jealousy of the cool-girl clique at school. As she watches her parents cope, sometimes haplessly, with changes in their own personal lives, and as she deals with a new baby brother, a potential stepfather and unexpected house moves, she realizes that love is a messy and risky business.
If grownups can make such a hash of it, how on earth can a fifteen-year-old cope?
But Charlotte does cope, magnificently, as she tries to figure out how to be a big sister, a daughter, a friend, a good person. And in the end she finds the courage to take responsibility for her own actions, and sets off to be with the boy she loves.
Set in a small town on the Austrian Danube, this is a familiar story that will touch a chord with every teenager, yet it is told with refreshing emotional honesty. Devoid of the judgment, sentimentality, sitcom snark or sexual precociousness that define so many North American young adult novels about first love, this story shows a strong, open, curious girl stumbling and prevailing as she figures out how to turn away from the noise of other people’s expectations, and listen to her own heart.
About the authors
Gabi Kreslehner was born in Linz, Austria. She is a teacher and writes for young readers and adults. I Don’t Live Here Anymore, her first novel, was published to huge acclaim in Germany (Charlottes Traum), receiving the Peter Härtling Prize, the Hans im Glück Prize and the Steiermark Prize for Young Adult Literature. Gabi lives with her family in Ottensheim, Austria, a town on the Danube that is very much like Charlotte’s.
SHELLEY TANAKA is an award-winning author, translator and editor. She has written more than twenty books for children and young adults, winning the Orbis Pictus Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Science in Society Book Award and the Information Book Award, and she has twice been nominated for the Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis. Other honors include Texas Blue Bonnet runner-up, School Library Journal Best Books, ALA Notables and IRA Young Adults’ Choice. Her translation of Michel Noel’s Good for Nothing won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and was on the IBBY Honor List (Commended). Shelley teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts, in the MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.
An immersive, believable portrait of how adolescents cope, or not, with divorce, drawn from an inside view. Powerful and deeply resonant.
Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
Subtle and nuanced, this fine coming-of-age novel has the delicate strength of a strand of silk.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Other titles by Shelley Tanaka
The Story of an Almost Unlucky Pig
Pebbles to the Sea
Suck It In and Smile
I Have the Right to Culture
Do You Know Where the Animals Live?
Discovering the Incredible Creatures All Around Us
My Body in Pieces
I Have the Right to Save My Planet
The Day the Rain Moved In
The Big Bad Wolf in My House
Everything You Need to Know