The First State of Being (Hardcover)

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When twelve-year-old Michael Rosario meets a mysterious boy from the future, his life is changed forever. From bestselling author Erin Entrada Kelly, the winner of the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe and a Newbery Honor for We Dream of Space, this novel explores themes of family, friendship, trust, and forgiveness. The First State of Being is for fans of Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me.

It's September 1999. For twelve-year-old Michael Rosario, life at Fox Run Apartments in Red Knot, Delaware, is as ordinary as ever—except for the looming Y2K crisis and his overwhelming crush on his sixteen-year-old babysitter, Gibby. But when a disoriented teenage boy named Ridge appears out of nowhere, Michael discovers there is more to life than stockpiling supplies and pining over Gibby.

Ridge is carefree, confident, and bold, things Michael wishes he could be. Unlike Michael, however, Ridge isn’t where he belongs. When Ridge reveals that he’s the world’s first time traveller and isn’t able to return home, Michael and Gibby are stunned. And determined to help. Meanwhile, Ridge is forced to navigate a strange new landscape of pay phones, allergies, and malls—none of which exist in his lifetime—and soon becomes like a big brother to Michael, the only child of a single mom.

When Michael unwittingly discovers a path home for Ridge, he's faced with a difficult decision: say goodbye to his only friend and let Ridge return to the future, or keep him in 1999, where they can grow up together?

A story of time travel, friendship, found family, and first loves, The First State of Being is a thematically rich story distinguished by its voice, memorable characters, and exploration of the issues that appeal to middle grade readers. An emotionally resonant story for fans of Rebecca Stead, Kate DiCamillo, and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.

About the Author

Erin Entrada Kelly was awarded the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe and a Newbery Honor for We Dream of Space. She grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and now lives in Delaware. She is a professor of children’s literature in the graduate fiction and publishing programs at Rosemont College, where she earned her MFA, and is on the faculty at Hamline University. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Philippines Free Press Literary Award for Short Fiction and the Pushcart Prize. Before becoming a children’s author, Erin worked as a journalist and magazine editor and received numerous awards for community service journalism, feature writing, and editing from the Louisiana Press Association and the Associated Press.

Erin Entrada Kelly’s debut novel, Blackbird Fly, was a Kirkus Best Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, an ALSC Notable Book, and an Asian/Pacific American Literature Honor Book. She is also the author of The Land of Forgotten Girls, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature; You Go First, a Spring 2018 Indie Next Pick; Lalani of the Distant Sea, an Indie Next Pick; Those Kids from Fawn Creek, named to numerous best-of-the-year lists; and three acclaimed novels for younger readers, Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey, Surely Surely Marisol Rainey, and Only Only Marisol Rainey, which she also illustrated. She lives in Delaware.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063337312
ISBN-10: 0063337312
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English