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Children's Fiction Visionary & Metaphysical

Liars and Fools

by (author) Robin Stevenson

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2010
Visionary & Metaphysical, General, Death & Dying
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2010
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2010
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Fiona's life changed forever when her mother died in a South Pacific sailing accident. One year later, everyone tells her it is time to move on. To Fiona, moving on means leaving her mother behind-something she has vowed never to do. But Fiona's father has started dating again. His new girlfriend, Kathy, is a professional psychic who claims she can predict the future and communicate with the dead. Fiona is sure she is a fraud, although she secretly longs for her abilities to be genuine. With the reluctant support of her best friend Abby, Fiona sets out to put an end to her father's new relationship by trying to prove, with decidedly mixed results, that Kathy is a liar.

About the author

Robin Stevenson is the award-winning author of more than 25 books for kids and teens, including the board book Pride Colors, the picture book Ghost’s Journey: A Refugee Story and the nonfiction books Kid Activists and Pride: The Celebration and the Struggle. The first edition of her nonfiction book Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community (2016) won a Stonewall Honor and was shortlisted for numerous other awards. Robin lives in Victoria, British Columbia, where she attends Pride celebrations with her family every year, but always leaves her dog safely at home.


Robin Stevenson's profile page


  • Short-listed, Chocolate Lily nominee
  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Commended, OLA Best Bets

Excerpt: Liars and Fools (by (author) Robin Stevenson)

The wind howled through the rigging, and a sheet of airborne spray sliced toward me over the top of the dodger. I gasped as the icy water hit me, soaking me from head to foot before it swirled away down the cockpit drains.

"Mom!" I shouted. "Mom! Please help me!" My voice was hoarse and my teeth were chattering. "Mom! I need you!" The wind snatched my words away and drowned them in the tumble of waves and spray.

I didn't want to die out here.

Editorial Reviews

"Stevenson has done a great job [of] showing the angst of a young girl lacking control in so many sections of her life…This book will appeal to younger students, especially those who can empathize with the journey Fiona is on."

Resource Links

"An expressive story about a young girl trying to come to terms with the world around her without her mother by her side…By its conclusion, Stevenson's novel brings about complex realizations of how both children and adults come to cope with the loss. Recommended."

CM Magazine

"Fiona's voice is believable and her grief is powerfully and sensitively portrayed. Her anger, guilt and sadness are strongly emotional without being depressing and truly drive the plot. Other characters are well-developed with their own emotions, beliefs, and needs while Fiona's love of sailing and the setting of coastal British Columbia add to the atmosphere."

Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media

"Fiona is a believable character trying to deal with her grief...Her relationship with her best (and only) friend, Abby, is realistic, and the banter between the two girls adds humor...This resonates as a story about Fiona finding her own strength in the wake of tragedy."


"In this perceptive novel, Stevenson (Inferno) captures the intensity of Fiona's grief and her passion for the sea. The questions haunting the heroine...are gracefully addressed in a way that will inspire readers to draw their own conclusions."

Publishers Weekly

"In this sensitive depiction of grief and acceptance, Fiona's solid voice captures a flux of emotions that arise from her mother's death and from being an early adolescent…Stevenson adds further layers of interest by incorporating Fiona's British Columbia surroundings, the teen's own love of boating and a look at several belief systems."

Kirkus Reviews

"Allows readers to vividly empathize with Fiona...All of the characters are richly developed, and although it is sad in parts, the story never gets overly melodramatic and the plot moves at a quick pace. Liars and Fools is an important coming-of-age story that delves into how teens deal with the grieving process...A good, solid dramatic story."


"This book has a well-rounded main character who speaks and acts like a teenage girl and a cast of believable secondary characters, and the sailing subplot provides additional interest."

School Library Journal

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