Story of a Girl


About the Book

Published January 2007

In the three years since her father caught her in the back seat of a car with an older boy, sixteen-year-old Deanna’s life at home and school has been a nightmare, but while dreaming of escaping with her brother and his family, she discovers the power of forgiveness.

Though it’s my first published novel, Story of a Girl was actually the fourth novel I wrote. The main character, Deanna Lambert, was one of those rare gifts writers dream of—she just walked onto the page, fully formed, in another book I was working on. When I finished that book, I knew I wanted to write about Deanna and find out what made her so tough, while at the same time vulnerable, what made her self-protective yet also open. I didn’t know what the story would be, but as I wrote certain themes emerged: The pain of not being able to undo something you wish you hadn’t done. The injustice of other people giving you identities that don’t reflect who you are, or wish you were. And most of all, the longing for a family and home where people truly know you, and love you anyway. It took me a couple of years to write it, and three more to sell it. During that process I lost one agent and gained a new one, lost my day job, and endured rejection after rejection. But, I absolutely would not give up on getting this book published. I felt sure about it in a way I hadn’t with my first three novels—I knew this was the one.


2007 National Book Award Finalist

American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults

ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers

International Reading Association Honor Book

International Reading Association Choices Book

New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

Capitol Choices Pick

Tayshas High School Reading List (TX)

Utah Book Award Finalist


Hardcover, Paperback, E-Book, Audiobook (CD Set & Download), and, hopefully someday, a feature film!

Translations: FrenchVietnameseItalianDutch & Korean


“This is a thoughtful, well-executed debut from an author who understands how to write for teens.” – Booklist, starred review

“This is realistic fiction at its best.” – School Library Journal, starred review
“…unusually sensitive and perceptive.” – VOYA

“This is young adult fiction that does not look away from the darkness of adolescence, but that also points to a hard-won kind of hope.” – IMAGE Update

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Buy Online

By special arrangement with my local independent book store, The King’s English, you can always find signed copies of my novels there.

If you’re not local, you can order signed copies from them and have them shipped and, if you like, gift wrapped. Also, if you’d like me to personalize a signed copy, we can make that happen.

And, of course, anywhere books are sold.