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Toppling (Hardcover)

Toppling By Sally Murphy, Rhian Nest James (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Sally Murphy, Rhian Nest James (Illustrator)
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Fall '12 Kids List

“It must be difficult to write an uplifting book in which a young character is seriously ill. Murphy has done just that in her latest book, Toppling, whose title refers to a domino game. This novel-in-verse perfectly captures the curiosity and fears that school-age children experience when they learn that a classmate is sick, and bravery and kindness are even more important parts of the story. Toppling is authentic and courageous, an important and affirming book.”
— Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA


Now that John’s best friend is sick, hanging out with his pals isn’t the same. But what can they do? A kid-friendly story of silliness, sadness, and solidarity.

John lives for that satisfying clink of dominoes as they topple in a perfectly timed rhythm of his own design. His sister thinks he’s a dork, but all he cares about is setting the world record for knocking down dominoes — that and hanging out with his best friends at school. But when his closest friend, Dom, gets sick and ends up in the hospital, John and the gang are left behind, wondering what to do for him. Author Sally Murphy shows what a group of friends, together with an unlikely ally, will do to keep the world of one of their own from toppling.

About the Author

Sally Murphy, the author of Pearl Verses the World, also writes reviews for the Children’s Book Council of Australia. She lives with her family in rural Australia.

Rhian Nest James
 has illustrated more than sixty children’s books, including the Samurai Kids series by Sandy Fussell. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

Praise For…

Engaging and poignant.
—Kirkus Reviews

Peppered with black-and-white illustrations, this story presents an accessible look at serious illness and classroom dynamics.
—School Library Journal

Readers drawn to quiet, thoughtful stories with more serious overtones may find it a quick yet affecting read.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Told in first-person, present-tense free verse, this book would be an excellent choice for a class read-aloud or as encouragement for individual readers who are experiencing a similar situation.
—Library Media Connection

Product Details
ISBN: 9780763659219
ISBN-10: 0763659215
Publisher: Candlewick
Publication Date: August 14th, 2012
Pages: 128
Language: English