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Groundwood Books

A Year Without Mom

Written by Dasha Tolstikova

For kids 10 - 14 years old | Published March 01, 2020 | ISBN 9781773063799
JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / General

Cover of A Year Without Mom

Regular price $16.95 CAD

168 pages | 8.5 in × 6.5 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

A Year Without Mom

Dasha Tolstikova

Now available in paperback, Dasha Tolstikova’s acclaimed graphic novel A Year Without Mom follows twelve-year-old Dasha through a year full of turmoil after her mother leaves for America.

It is the early 1990s in Moscow, and political change is in the air. But Dasha is more worried about her own challenges as she negotiates family, friendships and school without her mother. Just as she begins to find her own feet, she gets word that she is to join her mother in America — a place that seems impossibly far from everything and everyone she loves.

Dasha Tolstikova’s major talent is on full display in this gorgeous and subtly illustrated graphic novel.

Key Text Features

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events

Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.

Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

About the Author

Dasha Tolstikova

Dasha Tolstikova is the author and illustrator of the graphic memoir A Year Without Mom, which was a Kirkus Best Middle-Grade Book of the Year, a USBBY Outstanding International Books selection, and received four starred reviews. Dasha has illustrated several picture books, including Violet and the Woof by Rebecca Grabill, Friend or Foe? by John Sobol and The Jacket by Kirsten Hall. Her illustrations have also appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. The Bad Chair is the first picture book Dasha has written and illustrated.

Awards and Praise

"Deceptively simple, but with great narrative sophistication . . . Fascinating and heartfelt." — Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

"An absorbing graphic memoir. . . . Readers will wish the sequel were available instantly." — Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

"A lovely portrayal in words and art of a year in the life of an engaging tween girl from the other side of the world." — School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

"The author includes authentic details . . . and, with personality and sincerity, creates an accessible, truthful, and relatable record for readers of a different generation." — Horn Book Magazine, STARRED REVIEW

  • Commended Kirkus Best Middle-Grade Graphic Novels of the Year, 2015
  • Commended Kirkus Best Middle-Grade Books of the Year, 2015
  • Commended A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year, 2016
  • Commended USBBY Outstanding International Book, 2016
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