Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)
Ashes to Asheville by Sarah Dooley
Add Ashes to Asheville to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
Ashes to Asheville by Sarah Dooley
Hardcover $16.99
Apr 04, 2017 | ISBN 9780399165047

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (1) +
  • Apr 04, 2017 | ISBN 9780399165047 | Middle Grade (10 and up)

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Apr 04, 2017 | ISBN 9780698174023 | Middle Grade (10 and up)

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Product Details


Praise for Ashes to Asheville:

A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017
A 2018 ALSC Children’s Notable
2018 Rainbow List Book
A 2019 Intermediate Sequoya Master List Pick

★ “Dooley’s portrait of two sisters still struggling with grief and huge life changes makes for a powerful, absorbing read. . . . A tender, touching, and timely read.”—Booklist, starred review

★  “Dooley (Free Verse) skillfully balances the troubling story of a family torn apart with Fella’s lively, humorous narrative . . . in this moving, entertaining, and thought-provoking tale.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ Poignantly told with verve and a splash of humor, this novel explores sensitive topics with care and belongs in all middle grade collections.”—School Library Journal, starred review
“Dooley packs plenty of emotion into this eventful road trip . . . Breathless and engaging, Fella’s distinctive voice is convincingly childlike.”—Kirkus Reviews 

“A warm tale of family possibilities after bereavement.”—BCCB 

“Some books can sweep you away in the first sentence.”—NPR 

“In her exquisite, poignant novel, Sarah Dooley (Free Verse; Body of Water) explores the strange places grief takes people.”—Shelf Awareness

“[A] believable, touching story of loss and healing.”—VOYA

Praise for Free Verse:

“Dooley subtly exposes readers to poetic forms that invite engagement, understanding, and expression, while Sasha and her extended family are depicted with a sweetness reminiscent of Cynthia Rylant—a southern soulfulness that is warm even as it reveals the downtrodden struggles of a mining community.”—Bookliststarred review
★  “The changes in [Sasha’s] life, the anguish she feels, and her journey forward are expertly portrayed through Dooley’s use of first-person narration, which is sensitive and gentle without being soft or sentimental. The poetry is wonderful and feels authentic to Sasha’s years…”—School Library Journal, starred review 

★  “In this gripping story, Dooley balances a clear-eyed depiction of families wrestling with addiction, financial stress, and trauma with the astonishing resilience of children and the human capacity for love.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review 

“Sarah Dooley mixes poetry and prose to powerful, poignant effect in her novel Free Verse… This story brims with hard-won insight into the travails and small joys of life.”—The Washington Post 

“Sasha is a natural with words. They bubble out of her, spilling emotions onto paper that she couldn’t otherwise articulate. And as she experiments with different forms, Sasha discovers poetry’s double blessing: The structure stabilizes her, while the creativity sets her free.”—The Christian Science Monitor 

“The story mounts a quiet defense of the nobility of broken people… who hold on when all seems lost and sacrifice much out of love for their children. Sasha’s quietly moving poems… trace the evolution of her appreciation for what she has and her understanding that one must find one’s own way to wholeness after loss.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books 

“Dooley cleverly weaves into her novel different verse forms… giving her protagonist poet… the courage to stay put long enough to let the strength of her emotions settle inside. Dooley winningly combines engaging plot twists and rich character development with the introspective and thematic power of poetry: not to be missed.”—Kirkus Reviews 

“Dooley shows readers the richness of small-town life… Tween fans of realistic fiction will find depth in this novel.”—VOYA 
“Sasha lives in a tough coal mining world, and the hurts of her losses are deep. But her ability to see the beautiful and the lovely and the goodness of the world around her is equally deep, and her skill in expressing that depth is one of the things that will save her.  This novel is a triumph of art over loss, a story that will make you believe in the capacities of poetry.”—Gary Schmidt, author of Newbery Honor-winning The Wednesday Wars
Free Verse is exactly the sort of thing that we wish we saw more of in young people’s literature, and Sarah Dooley is exactly the sort of author who needs and deserves this fellowship. It is a startling book, surprising at every turn, and its exploration of poverty, trauma, and loss deserves to be read by as wide an audience as possible.”—Daniel Handler, Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Neal Shusterman, and Susanna Reich, judges for the 2012 PEN/Phyllis Naylor fellowship

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates about Sarah Dooley
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking “SIGN UP”, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and understand that Penguin Random House collects certain categories of personal information for the purposes listed in that policy, discloses, sells, or shares certain personal information and retains personal information in accordance with the policy. You can opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information anytime.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top