A review by cassiesbookshelves
AfterMath by Emily Barth Isler


This is one of the best middle grade books that I've read in a long time, but it hurts my heart that it needed to be written in the first place.

The book follows seventh grader Lucy, whose little brother just died from a congenital heart defect. Her parents, looking for a fresh start, move to a town devastated by a school shooting five years earlier. Lucy's new classmates are the survivors.

I've never read a middle grade book that dealt with grief and trauma so well. The characters all cope with their traumas in different ways, and it helps kids understand that everyone grieves differently. It also has a really poignant lesson about gun violence, and it breaks my heart that so many kids will be able to relate to the shooting survivors.

Overall, this was an amazing middle grade read. It does handle some very mature and emotional content, so be sure to discuss with young readers in advance and be careful recommending this book to those who aren't emotionally ready for it.