Picture a Girl

Sometimes a story is all you have left.

Addie’s mom is good at two things (three, if you count making French toast): surfing and telling stories.

Addie and her brother, Billy, live with their mom in a shabby rental cabin in the tourist town of Cedarveil, BC, right off the beach. Their lives are a little different than some—they often visit the food bank, and they don’t have a phone or TV. For entertainment, their mom tells them stories before bed…if she’s in a good mood, or home at all. Sometimes Mama copes with her depression by drinking; sometimes, she just disappears.

When Addie wakes up one Monday, she senses a stillness that tells her Mama’s gone again. Addie knows it’s up to her to take care of everything until her mom gets back. It’s either not let on that anything’s amiss or she and Billy will be separated from one another. Once again she makes it through until her mom’s return a week later, knowing that she’s strong enough to survive alone—but she’s hoping this will be the last time.

Picture a Girl is a novel for middle-grade readers. In bookstores May 2024 from Orca Book Publishers. Available for pre-order now.

Girl in black wetsuit holds surfboard while navigating a big wave. Seagulls fly overhead.