Dara's lived a sheltered life with her single mom, Mellie. Now, at eighteen, she's dreaming of more. When Dara digs up her never-before-seen birth certificate, her world implodes. Why are two strangers listed as her parents?Dara confronts her mother, and is stunned by what she learns: Mellie is transgender. The unfamiliar name listed under "father"? That's Mellie. She transitioned when Dara was a baby, after Dara's birth mother died. She changed her name, started over.But Dara still has more questions than answers. Reeling, she sets off on an impromptu road trip with her best guy friend, Sam, in tow. She is determined to find the extended family she's never even met. What she does discover -- and what her mother reveals, piece by piece, over emails -- will challenge and change Dara more than she can imagine.This is a gorgeous, timely, and essential novel about the importance of being our true selves. The back matter includes an author's note and resources for readers.
About the Author
Jessica Verdi is the author of My Life After Now, The Summer I Wasn't Me, and What You Left Behind. She is a graduate of The New School's MFA in Writing for Children program and lives in New York. You can find her online at jessicaverdi.com.
Advance Praise for And She Was:
"Verdi just gets better and better with every book. And She Was is a beautiful, multilayered journey of love, understanding, and empathy that made me want to be a better daughter, ally, and person." -- Dahlia Adler, author of Under the Lights
"A heart-tugging, powerful story of family, identity, and the struggle for acceptance. A beautiful novel that treats every moment with incredible care, Jessica Verdi's latest is a different kind of love story -- one about loving yourself, your family, and your life. And it features my favorite mother-daughter relationship since Gilmore Girls." -- Corey Ann Haydu, author of OCD Love Story
"An engrossing story about the collision of big, grand dreams and long-held life-saving family secrets. I could not stop turning pages and cheering for Dara." -- Caela Carter, author of Tumbling
"And She Was took me right back to my adolescence, a time when I was struggling to come to terms with my trans parent's identity while figuring out my own." -- Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker Sharon Shattuck
Praise for What You Left Behind:
* "Verdi eloquently details the trials and tribulations of being a single teen dad... [Verdi] holds nothing back... An excellent addition to YA collections." -- School Library Journal, starred review
Praise for The Summer I Wasn't Me:
"This title is recommended as a quality piece of fiction in a teen collection, and especially as part of an LGBTQ collection." -- VOYA Magazine
Praise for My Life After Now:
"Debut author Verdi paints Lucy's devastation and her tangled emotions with honesty and compassion... Information about living with HIV is peppered throughout, but Verdi's novel never preaches, instead telling Lucy's story with realism and hope." -- Publishers Weekly