Saturday, September 13, 2014

#Excerpt from The Girl Who Came Back to Life by Craig Staufenberg @YouMakeArtDumb #MG

At the train’s next stop, a different child came to Sophie and handed her another gift of food, and at the next stop a different child still. At each stop, another mother stood behind her child and insisted on the gift, and thanked Sophie for wearing her child out.

When the train moved forward, the children scrambled down the aisle and handed her a little of whatever their families were eating amongst themselves. Sophie felt embarrassed by the generosity the other passengers showed to her and, increasingly, to her grandmother, who also received small gifts of bread and cheese or whatever else the families brought with them. The old woman never pushed the children away, but simply thanked them with a touch of sweetness Sophie had never heard from her before.

Now, when their train stopped at a station or broke down altogether, the old woman produced a deck of cards from her bag and played games with the other women while Sophie continued to occupy the children with her runs.

As the days grew longer and rain fell and the smell of spring flowers drifted into the air, the two travelers slowly found themselves enfolded into the life of their train. During boisterous moments Sophie and her grandmother began to speak and laugh with the others. During quiet moments the two remained still and peaceful, sometimes smiling, sometimes sober, moods in tune with the warming air that thickened those afternoons when children slept and adults enjoyed temporary peace.

Gradually, as the days passed and spring brought the world back to life, something melted a touch between Sophie and her grandmother. They still rarely spoke, and when they did they never said any word of consequence, but the old woman began to comment whenever they received something especially delicious, and after a stray question or two about the day’s games escaped Sophie’s lips, the old woman began to teach her granddaughter how to play cards—quietly, privately, lest the train’s other women learned her secrets.

The Girl Who Came Back to Life

When you die, your spirit wakes in the north, in the City of the Dead. There, you wander the cold until one of your living loved ones finds you, says "Goodbye," and Sends you to the next world. 

After her parents die, 12-year-old Sophie refuses to release their spirits. Instead, she resolves to travel to the City of the Dead to bring her mother and father’s spirits back home with her. 

Taking the long pilgrimage north with her gruff & distant grandmother—by train, by foot, by boat; over ruined mountains and plains and oceans—Sophie struggles to return what death stole from her. Yet the journey offers her many hard, unexpected lessons—what to hold on to, when to let go, and who she must truly bring back to life.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Middle Grade
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Craig Staufenberg through Facebook and Twitter

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