July In August

July In August - Book Cover

Twelve-year-old July Krativitiz lives in Maplewood, New Hampshire with her adorable two-year-old brother, Abe, and her drug-addicted mother. July's life is complicated. Her mother is often too stoned to care for her little brother. So July must either stay home to protect him or pray for his safety when she is at school.

Mary White, an elderly neighbor, offers help. But when Mrs. White discovers what's going on with July's mother, she takes some very drastic actions. For one thing, she kidnaps the children to a faraway lakehouse where she knows they will be safe, safe, safe. July soon realizes Mrs. White is not the kindly neighbor she believed her to be.

Then Abe’s father, Roger, comes to pick up his little boy for their weekend visit. He understands something is wrong as he is climbing the stairs as it is eerily quiet and smells of rotten potatoes. When he enters the apartment he finds July’s mom dead on the floor with no sign of the children.

Roger embarks on a journey to find July, Abe, and their mom’s killer.

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"When you sit down to read this book, you will not want to put it down. Maryjo Paradis-Smith will make you fall in love with the main characters as she clearly understands the mindset and hearts of middle-school students. While this book was written for the adolescent audience, adults will also benefit from this story as well since the opioid crisis has touched so many lives. This book should be on the shelves in every middle school classroom".
"This book is an exceptional read. It had me from the first page, impossible to put down until the last . The authenticity of the main character July , pulls you into a life no child should have to endure. You find yourself wanting to protect and shelter this incredibly resilient girl. The book is full of twists and turns sending you on an emotional rollercoaster . A book you're sad to see end and hope there is a way to continue reading about and sharing the life experiences of the characters"
"I absolutely loved this book!!! I read it in less than 24 hours. The way that Maryjo portrayed the setting of a suburban/urban New Hampshire town was phenomenal. I loved the mystery and excitement this novel brings, it really kept me on my toes as I was reading. What would happen to July? Would Mrs. Smith go to jail? What ACTUALLY happened to July's mother?"
"The ending was heartfelt, realistic and exactly what I think should have happened. July is a typical teenage girl, who readers come to realize is going through a lot. There are many lessons one could take away from this book, but I don't want to give away too much!"
"I thought the story was well written and quite engaging for a young adult novel. The author did a good job of giving the young protagonist an authentic voice. I also thought the perspective from the father/stepfather was well done.The book held my interest, gave me some insight on the opioid problem in NE and yet, left me feeling optimistic."
"I think educators, teens, and parents would love this book :)"
"This book is written with much passion and detail. I could not put the book down. The characters are very believable. I fell in love with Roger, July, and Abe."

In the News

"’Voice to the kids’: Retired Dover teacher's novel focuses on impact of parents’ drug addiction" written by SeaCoast Online (reference)