Debut Novel Uses Narrative Verse To Render A Timely Story About Coming Of Age During A Crisis

The following is an exclusive excerpt from Caroline DuBois’ debut novel  ‘The Places We Sleep‘, out on August 25, 2020. ‘The Places We Sleep’ tells the story of Abbey, a young girl from a military family whose world seems poised to fall apart in the aftermath of 9/11. As the country collectively mourns, Abbey is forced to reckon with the rapid and confusing changes happening in her family and social life, as well as in her own body. Abbey’s journey provides an accessible portrait of the military family experience during a tumultuous period in our history.

It’s early in September 2001, and twelve-year-old Abbey is the new kid at school — again. Tennessee is the latest stop her family has made in a series of moves, thanks to her dad’s work in the Army, but this one might be different. For the first time, Abbey has found a real friend: loyal, courageous, athletic Camille. But everything changes after September 11. Abbey’s “home” looks like it might fall apart as America changes overnight. Abbey’s body changes, too, while her classmates argue and her family falters amidst the pressures of a new national crisis. Like everyone around her, she tries to make sense of her own experience as a part of the country’s collective pain. With her mother grieving and her father prepping for active duty, Abbey must learn to cope on her own.



Caroline Brooks DuBois received a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, under the scholarship of Pulitzer Prize winning poet James Tate, among other greats in the poetry world. DuBois’s writing infuses poetry and prose and has been twice honored by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her debut middle-grade novel-in-verse, ‘The Places We Sleep’, is published by Holiday House and to be released August 2020. DuBois currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she works as an English instructional coach and sometimes co-writes songs for fun with her singer-songwriter husband.

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