ANN HERRICK Books for Kids & Teens

 The Farewell Season

 

A story of how love endures and love heals

Eric and Glynnie go from butting heads to grudging friendship to something more...

Eric used to think he'd live forever, but not any more. As football season starts, he hopes he can live normally again after the death of his father, but his refusal to face his grief results in anger at his coach, fights with his sister, resenting added responsibilities, and disillusionment with football. It takes a special relationship with Glynnie, who is struggling with the divorce of her parents, to open his heart to love again. 

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...This is really a lovely book, with a sweet tone and story that pulls you into its world subtly but deeply, until you begin to care deeply about the characters and the way they are all dealing with change, loss, grief, old pain and new beginnings. It's not a book about big events - it's a small scale story of one boy in a small town, but the emotional impact is still big. MC Eric, of course, is the focal point, but all of the characters are fully fleshed out, with real feeling personalities and voices. Not to slight the other side characters, but Glynnie is especially loveable. It's pretty cool for a YA family drama/romance to be written from a boy POV, but then to have the female character be the kind of quirky off-beat independent type we ususally see portrayed as a guy (like a Sarah Dessen boy, only she's a girl), is really quite amazing ... 

The vibe and flavor of the little town of Crystal Lake is beautifully portrayed, especially through all of the mouth-watering Scandinavian foods so lovingly and temptingly described. I'm not really a huge sports fan, and there's a lot of football in this book. But like Lance Armstrong so aptly said, it's not about the bike. It's about the emotional impact of Eric's commitment, about what football meant between him and his Dad, it's about how change comes to everything, in ways that we are going to have to deal with even if it's not fair, that make the football element relatable even for nerds.

This is a quietly emotional read that will sneak up on your heart (and tear ducts) if you let yourself sink into its world.

Fred LeBaron, Librarian

"I very much enjoyed this book. Romance and football. LOL On a serious note this was an excellent book about love and loss, grief and acceptance. Thought provoking, and sensitive this is a book that is better than many in the genre. A nice love story is always good, but this was that and oh so much more. I liked that it ended in a very real way. There wasn't a magic wand cure all end, it was real, and all the more touching and much more impact for that realism. Highly recommended."

Michael Burhans

"Football lovers and non-football fans will enjoy this compelling story...The realistic feelings and true-to-life characters provide a story with an important lesson about life and loss.
...This story crosses the 'goal line'--both for teens who may face similar hurdles, and for those who wonder about such 'what ifs' in life that may be befall them."

Patricia D. Engelking, ALAN Review, Vol. 39, No. 3

 

..."...beautifully written. There were moments that I laughed, got frustrated, and cried..."

Autumn, The Autumn Review

 
Let me start by saying that I loved this book...This story has the ability to touch all hearts because loss is universal, it's a language we all speak. And even though grieving is an essential part of overcoming loss, we don't all willingly give ourselves over to it. What then occurs is the inability to heal properly and move on....

[Eric's] dad encompassed everything a good father should be; ever-present, loving, supportive, invested, dependable. You can imagine the giant void his death has left in Eric's life. Maybe you don't have to imagine. Though I haven't grieved the loss of a parent, yet, I could identify with him, with all the emotions he experiences. I grieved over the loss of the safety and security of my family when my parents divorced, when I was a young girl. This experience was at the forefront of my thoughts and what I drew upon to help me relate to Eric. This is exactly what happens with Glynnie. She and Eric find in each other a kindred spirit.

... issues are handled delicately, as to avoid bringing the reader down. The story never gets dark. In fact, by the end of the book, I felt uplifted! My only complaint about this book is that it ended.

This is a story I recommend for everyone. Young, old, male or female. A beautiful story to remind us that if we have loved, that love is ours to keep. We can keep those we've lost alive in our hearts and memories and pay tribute to them as we push on and live our lives to the fullest.

Arla Cook, leavemommyalone.blogspot.com/

 
"...I cried while reading this book because I am that connected with Eric.  Yes, I totally bond with a guy.  In a book.  Who is fictional.  Go.  Figure...I really like Herrick’s writing…obviously, it moves me to tears...

I give The Farewell Season 4.5 out of  5 hearts: Very Highly Recommended!!"

Lauren, Epilogue

 

Ann Herrick is a gifted writer that artfully takes the reader into the adolescent heart and mind. In her most recent young adult novel, The Farewell Season, viewpoint character Eric grapples with his grieving for his father. His struggles are poignant and bittersweet, with touches of humor. Ann Herrick is a master of portraying both the darkness and the light.

This story is also one that both fans of football and people who are not sports fans would enjoy.

Bravo, Ann Herrick!

Sydell Voeller, Author; Writing Instructor, The Long Ridge Writers Group

 

Don’t most young people think they’ll live forever? And when someone close to a teen dies, reality strikes and threatens his or her entire security system...

Although The Farewell Season addresses a serious subject, it’s not a depressing story but one of hope, friendship, humor and understanding.  Facing our feelings makes us free.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and recommend it highly.  This is a timeless tale that will remain with readers to help them through rough times. Ann Herrick’s stories never disappoint.

Betty Jo Schuler, Author; Writing Instructor, Writer’s Digest  University                          

      

 

"…I appreciate Eric's character. He's such a jerk! But he knows it. As he works through the pain he's willing to change, to make things right. I like his spirit, and I like that he's not perfect. I love a learning, growing, maturing lead… Kirstin, Eric's sister…has some great lines as she bickers with her brother. There's some nice conflict and resolution between Eric and his mom as well. 

But it's Glynnie - dowdy Glynnie with her unique style, tough questions, and ever-present pen and paper - who compliments Eric's character so nicely. I was never sure what she'd say, how she'd react, where she would bring the story. And though we don't see much of her, I loved the quirkiness of Glynnie's cigar-smoking, French-speaking mom.

Ms. Herrick's writing has a nice, easy-to-read flow with some very lovely moments….one of the most powerful lines, one that summarizes the heart of Eric's struggle all in one punch: "Maybe I was afraid. Afraid that I'd lose that sensation of potency I'd once taken for granted, but that now seemed brief and fragile." 

…The Farewell Season does a nice job exploring grief and arousing sympathy in the reader…kudos!"

~~Michelle Isenhoff, Bookworm Blather

 

The Farewell Season was one of those books that has a simple, honest story.  It's all about real people experiencing a life-changing event, and how that event affects and shapes them...Ann Herrick did an excellent job showing Eric through his stages of grief...

Glynnie was one of those quirky characters that you just have to love.  She's a little bit of a nerd, ask too many questions, and seems to know exactly how to chip away at Eric's layers of grief....I loved watching Eric grow and change throughout the story as he worked his way through his issues...

I thought Ann Herrick did a great job getting into Eric's head and making his character seem real and believable.  All in all, this was an simple, honestly told story that was full of growth and warmth.  I would definitely recommend it.

Readergirl Reviews

 

... I have read Ann Herrick's books over the years. I enjoyed them from the beginning; however, this latest effort: The Farewell Season was really a joy to read... the best thing about the book for me was the depth of Eric, the main character, in his relationships with his family friends, and his deceased dad. Reading about an intelligent, thoughtful teen is great--for adults and for the intended audience....

Susan Beck, Former Youth Librarian/Jr. & High School Librarian

 

...This book deals delicately with grief and loss. Eric is trying to deal with the loss of his father and though he is sometimes immature, the author does a good job of developing Eric's character so that he has more depth and compassion, and shows more courage, at the end the of the novel. Football training plays a role, but game play is minimal, so this book can't be classified as a "sports book" but more a coming of age novel.

Crisgee, Night Owl Reviews