A Year Without Mom follows 12-year-old Dasha through a year full of turmoil after her mother leaves for America. It is the early 1990s in Moscow, and political change is in the air. But Dasha is more worried about her own challenges as she negotiates family, friendships and school without her mother. Just as she begins to find her own feet, she gets word that she is to join her mother in America — a place that seems impossibly far from everything and everyone she loves. This gorgeous and subtly illustrated graphic novel signals the emergence of Dasha Tolstikova as a major new talent.
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Dasha Tolstikova is an illustrator whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker. Her picture book The Jacket, written by Kirsten Hall, was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2014. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
A Kirkus Best Middle-Grade Book of the Year
A Kirkus Best Middle-Grade Graphic Novel of the Year
A USBBY Outstanding International Book
A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year
"A perceptive story about change, aloneness, ambition and, ultimately, resilience." New York Times
"Deceptively simple, but with great narrative sophistication . . . Fascinating and heartfelt." Kirkus, starred review "Soviet-era Russian realities are only hinted at, backgrounding Dasha's story but never overwhelming it." Kirkus, starred review
"An absorbing graphic memoir. . . . Readers will wish the sequel were available instantly." Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The excitement of meeting a teen actor, the agony of a crush, the pain of changed friendships all this resonates cross-culturally." Toronto Star
"A lovely portrayal in words and art of a year in the life of an engaging tween girl from the other side of the world.” School Library Journal, starred review
"The author includes authentic details . . . and, with personality and sincerity, creates an accessible, truthful, and relatable record for readers of a different generation." Horn Book Magazine, starred review
"A quiet, moving, and contemplative story of growth." Booklist
"Told in quiet fragments, sewn together with ribbons of girlhood." National Post
"The excitement of meeting a teen actor, the agony of a crush, the pain of changed friendships all this resonates cross-culturally." — Toronto Star
"My mom really loves her job, but she always talks about how advertising in Russia isn’t so good.
'I cannot write about bread factories for the rest of my life – she says – Now, America – that’s what advertising is all about!'
She says this quite a lot, but I don’t really think about it until one night I overhear her talking to my grandmother.
She will be fine, we will take good care of her. You have to take this opportunity. Says my grandmother.
What is going on? Are they talking about me? Why do I need to be taken care of?" — from the book
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