Photo of Simon Sort of Says

Simon Sort of Says

Hardcover  Paperback  Ebook  
ISBN: 9781039708778 Pages: 320 Ages: 9-12 Dimensions: 5" x 7.75"

About this book

Simon O’Keeffe tells a lot of stories: like how his family was driven out of Omaha by alpacas. And how his church-deacon dad accidentally gave a squirrel a holy sacrament. And how his undertaker mom occasionally has to wrangle emus.

But the story Simon doesn’t tell is the one he’d do anything to forget: Simon is the only survivor of a school shooting. That story has followed him everywhere — everywhere except his new home in the National Quiet Zone, where the internet is banned so radio astronomers can listen for signs of life in space.

Then Simon meets a kid who wants to give the astronomers what they’ve been looking for . . . and he finally gets the chance to tell a new story about himself.

This is that story.

Hilarious, heart-wrenching and ultimately hopeful, this story is about finding your friends, healing your heart and speaking your truth.


"An uproarious small-town comedy with a devastating tragedy at its core, played out by a cast as memorable for its animals as its people. Adroit, sensitive, horrifying, yet hilarious." — Kirkus Reviews

"Bow cloaks a story of very real, tragic anxiety in a compassionate, funny, inventive tangle of characters, wacky incidents and physics. With a quick wit and imaginative exuberance, she offers a tale that’s heartwarming, comic and quite unpredictable." — Toronto Star

*“Original and sometimes disturbing, Plain Kate is a compelling story of dark magic and a remarkable debut by a talented writer.” (Plain Kate) — Quill & Quire, starred review

“… a story of strength, courage, and resilience that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt abandoned, alone, or doubted themselves and their place in the world. Bow delivers a jubilant tale that celebrates the power of family, love, and young women.” (Stand on the Sky) — Quill & Quire


Award Winner, Cybils (Children's and Young Adults Bloggers' Literary Awards), Middle-Grade Fiction 2023
Shortlisted, IBBY Canada, Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities 2025
Shortlisted, OLA Red Maple Award, Fiction 2024
Longlisted, National Book Award for Young People's Literature 2023
Commended, Schneider Family Book Award, Honor Book 2024
Commended, OLA Best Bets 2024
Commended, Newbery Honor Book 2024
Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Starred Selection 2023


Simon Sort of Says Educator’s Guide

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