The How & the Why (Paperback)

The How & the Why By Cynthia Hand Cover Image

The How & the Why (Paperback)

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Winter 2019 Kids Indie Next List


“Cass McMurtrey has always known she was adopted, but upon turning 18, she wants to know who she is—not just who her adopted parents raised her to be, but her roots deep down. On a journey surrounded by her fun-loving and caring support system, Cass learns about her family’s past through letters written by her biological mother. A heart-wrenching novel, The How & the Why will leave you wanting more of Cynthia Hand’s talented writing.”
— Kelsi Roberts, Story on The Square, McDonough, GA

"Cynthia Hand is the master of pulling at your heartstrings. The How & the Why tells both sides of an adoption story with love, compassion, and care." —Brigid Kemmerer, New York Times bestselling author of Letters to the Lost

A poignant exploration of family and the ties that bind, from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.

Cassandra McMurtrey has the best parents a girl could ask for; they’ve given Cass a life she wouldn’t trade for the world. She has everything she needs—but she has questions, too. Like, to know who she is. Where she came from. Questions her adoptive parents can’t answer, no matter how much they love her.

But eighteen years ago, someone wrote Cass a series of letters. And they may just hold the answers Cass has been searching for.

Alternating between Cass’s search for answers and letters from the pregnant teen who placed her for adoption, this emotionally resonant narrative is the perfect read for fans of Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson.

The Lady Janies are made up of New York Times bestselling authors Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows. They first met in 2012, when their publishers sent them on a book tour together, and they hit it off so well they decided to write My Lady Jane so they could go on book tours together all the time. Between the three of them they’ve written more than twenty published novels, a bunch of novellas, a handful of short stories, and a couple of really bad poems. They’re friends. They’re writers. They’re fixing history by rewriting one sad story at a time. Learn more at ladyjanies.com. 

Product Details ISBN: 9780062693174
ISBN-10: 0062693174
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2021
Pages: 480
Language: English

“An excellent exploration of the complicated facets of teen pregnancy, adoption, and sacrifice.” — Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

“This compassionate story rings true.” — Publishers Weekly

“The novel’s great strength is the emotional depth of its characters and the complexity of their relationships. A heartfelt and hopeful story about coming of age as an adoptee.” — School Library Journal

“Hand explores adoption’s multiple dimensions with great insight and sensitivity. Inclusive and illustrative: an engaging lesson in timeless family values.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Cynthia Hand is the master of pulling at your heartstrings. The How & the Why tells both sides of an adoption story with love, compassion, and care. You’ll be reaching for your tissue box with this one -- if you can stop turning pages long enough, that is.” — Brigid Kemmerer, New York Times Bestselling Author of Letters to the Lost

“Beautifully rendered and superbly shaped. Hand has crafted an absorbing novel that focuses on family, friendship, teen pregnancy, adoption, personal choices, and serious health issues. Give this exquisite novel to readers seeking an emotionally intricate story.” — Booklist (starred review)