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About the Author

John Newman was born in Dublin and worked as a folklore collector, a civil servant, and an accountant before he became an elementary school teacher. He is the coauthor of eleven books for children. Mimi is his first solo novel. John Newman lives in Ireland.


A rich cast of deftly drawn supporting characters and a couple of subplots all add up to a warm, believable, and optimistic portrait of grief and connection.
--The Horn Book

Irish author Newman's first solo effort and U.S. debut will win readers' hearts through the conversational tone and openhearted observations of elementary school-aged narrator Mimi, whose mother died 149 days earlier (she is counting).
--Publishers Weekly

Gr 4-6-Even after Mimi gets caught reading her older sister's diary, she can't stop herself. She reads it to stay connected to her family because ever since their mother was killed in an accident, the entire family has been unable to cope. Mimi and her siblings stopped talking to each other. Conor plays the drums late into the night. Sally is keeping a big secret, something so terrible she won't even write about it her diary. Even worse, Dad has completely shut down. Add a school bully and a new teacher to complicate matters. Luckily for Mimi, she is surrounded by a loving and attentive extended family and a best friend who lightens the load by telling corny jokes. Mimi is Chinese and was adopted into her Irish family. While this doesn't play into the main plot, it comes up at a pivotal point in the story where Mimi learns to stand up for herself. Mimi's voice is sincere and her grief is incredibly real. All this emotion is skillfully tempered with humor and hope. Justine Eyre gives John Newman's story (Candlewick, 2011) an authentic Irish voice and gives each character a distinct intonation. A worthy addition to school and public library audiobook collections.-April Mazza, Wayland Public Library, Wayland MA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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