A girl channels her grief and pain into love and activism in this heartbreaking, heart-mending novel of family, friendship, and community.
Iris tries to act normal at school, going through the motions and joking around with her friends. But nothing is normal, and sometimes it feels like she’ll never laugh again. How can she, when her dad is dying of a virus that’s off-limits to talk about? When she knows that soon all she’ll have left of her kind, loving dad are memories, photos, and a binder full of the poems they used to exchange?

In a sea of rage and grief, Iris resolves to speak out against the rampant fear, misinformation, and prejudice surrounding AIDS—and find the pieces of Dad that she never knew before. Along the way, Iris might just find new sides to herself.

Award-winning author Ami Polonsky has crafted a lyrical, tender, earth-shattering novel that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

Book Club Guide


* “The book shows a girl focusing her rage and pain into love… Simultaneously sad and life affirming; a poetry-filled, inspiring call to activism.”—Kirkus, Starred Review
* "Foregrounding believable, dynamic characters [this novel shows] both the cost of inaction and fear around the HIV/AIDS crisis, and the power of activism to bring change and build community."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
* “Ami Polonsky has crafted a beautiful story which speaks of courage, family, love, anger, discrimination, ignorance, and hope. …Polonsky has delivered a powerful message to us all that should not be passed up.”—School Library Connection, starred review
“Impeccably written and emotionally powerful.”—BCCB
“A valuable education in AIDS history and emotional wellness.”—Booklist
Read More Read Less