Counting Thyme

Available Now!
from Penguin Young Readers

Newbery-winning Rules meets Counting by 7s in this affecting story of a girl’s devotion to her brother and what it means to be home.

When eleven-year-old Thyme Owen’s little brother, Val, is accepted into a new cancer drug trial, it’s just the second chance that he needs. But it also means the Owens family has to move to New York, thousands of miles away from Thyme’s best friend and everything she knows and loves. The island of Manhattan doesn’t exactly inspire new beginnings, but Thyme tries to embrace the change for what it is: temporary.

After Val’s treatment shows real promise and Mr. Owens accepts a full-time position in the city, Thyme has to face the frightening possibility that the move to New York is permanent. Thyme loves her brother, and knows the trial could save his life—she’d give anything for him to be well—but she still wants to go home, although the guilt of not wanting to stay is agonizing. She finds herself even more mixed up when her heart feels the tug of new friends, a first crush and even a crotchety neighbor and his sweet whistling bird. All Thyme can do is count the minutes, the hours and the days, and hope time can bring both a miracle for Val and a way back home.

Extras

Praise for Counting Thyme

"Counting Thyme allows the reader to peek inside the real struggles and celebrations of a family as they balance a potentially life-saving move, the ups and downs of treatment, and the important needs of two older siblings. Melanie Conklin paints a realistic and approachable picture of the delicate balance for a family as they conquer the unknown…together.”
— Kim Buff, Momcology founder
"Counting Thyme covers the range of emotions and feelings that come with having a child in the family dealing with cancer, all while showing life still goes on; all done with humor and an easy pace in the book. What a great read!"
— Julie, Momcology mother of Luke and Molly, cancer survivors
"I didn't think I would love a middle grade book as much as I loved reading this book. Even though emotionally it was hard, this book kept me wanting to read more and hoping for a good outcome for the family.”
— Gayathri, Momcology mother of Sarisha and Jehan, cancer survivor

A 2016 Nerdy Book Award Winner!

All the Wonders Best of 2016 Book Winner!

A Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year Selection 2017

SCBWI Crystal Kite Awards Finalist 2017

International Literacy Association’s Teachers’ Choices Selection 2017

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“[T]he underlying theme of hope even through sadness with hints of humor scattered throughout gives it a unique touch like no other book I’ve read…I would and will choose to read Counting Thyme again and again, and each time I will enjoy it as much as I did the first time.” Stone Soup (full review)

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“Debut author Conklin writes with a pitch-perfect middle-grade voice… A nice choice for middle-grade readers who enjoy heartfelt and emotional novels.”Booklist

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“Thyme’s remarkable perseverance and resilience will inspire readers of Conklin’s compassionate tale.”— Kirkus (full review)

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“[A] sweet book that will strum the heartstrings of readers.”—School Library Journal

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“Conklin successfully weaves together the shifting dynamics of a loving family under crisis with the less dramatic but equally heartfelt turmoil of coming of age in a new environment.”—Publishers Weekly

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“Melanie Conklin brings New York vividly to life in Counting Thyme, a gentle story fueled by heart, hope, and beautifully developed characters.”— Pat Schmatz, award-winning author of Bluefish

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Counting Thyme shows how a serious illness can tear the fabric of a family apart, and love can stitch it back together again. This deeply moving story of family, friendship and belonging will settle deep in your heart and stay there long after the final page is read.”— Donna Gephart, award-winning author of Death by Toilet Paper and Lily and Dunkin

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“An absolute must read. Thyme is a character you must meet in 2016.”— Colby Sharp, teacher and Nerdy Book Club facilitator

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“Melanie Conklin’s debut Counting Thyme is a heartfelt depiction of family, change, and acceptance populated by characters that are sure to leave a lasting impression.” (full review)— Sara Grochowski, The Hiding Spot and Brilliant Books

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“This was an emotional read for me with cancer being such a big part of the story, but as much as this did make me cry, the author managed to show hope through Thyme’s family and the new friends she encounters. There were so many times I laughed in the midst of it all. I can’t tell you my favorite part of the book until you read it, but it was one of the most powerful lines I’ve read in a long time.”— Dee Romito, author of The BFF Bucket List