Into the Wind

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SKU: Wind


2021 IPNE Young Adult Book of the Year

It’s shaping up to be a rotten summer for Rusty, a young sailing fan who lives on an island off the New England coast. He’s just flunked fifth-grade math and has to go to summer school. His older sister is bossier than ever. Worst of all, his mom is far away on the mainland —undergoing treatment for her sudden, confusing, and exhausting “sadness”—while his dad struggles to keep the household together. Rusty’s only refuge is in caring for and teaching himself to sail a small, beloved sailboat. 

While working on his boat at the village dock one evening, Rusty meets Hazel, a feisty local artist from an old sailing family. Hazel asks—no, demands—that Rusty take her sailing. He refuses. She argues. And an unlikely friendship begins.

Middle Grade Fiction    192 pages    Ages 9-13    Grades 3 to 6   RL: 4

Strong Social Emotional Learning    /  FREE Discussion Guide Available

Click to: Read an interview with the author.

What reviewers say:

“That Rusty allows himself to be changed by Hazel’s friendship and guidance speaks well of him in a subtle way, and it’s touching to see their mutual caring and compassion. . . . A moving, well-written tale about an unusual friendship.”—Kirkus Reviews

"A tender middle grade novel about an unconventional, multigenerational friendship formed across one significant summer."  -- Foreword Reviews (2021 Best of Indies Finalist)

"This memorable book includes illustrations by Laura Jacobsen...They really add to the story...This emotional story deals with friendship, compassion, death, and grief. It's a wonderful story to help kids learn about love and loss and treasuring the moments you have with people."  5 stars --Literary Titan (full review)

"I fell in love with this story. I began to picture myself part of Rusty and Hazel's connection.  Highly recommended."   -- Vernita Taylor, Readers' Favorite

“This beautifully crafted novel of a goodhearted boy is touching and life-affirming.”    —Mary Quattlebaum, award-winning author writing for Washington Parent

"I highly recommend Into the Wind for school and families, or for that young hero in your life.”  --Clare O’Beara, Fresh Fiction  (full review)

Hardcover:  $16.99 (list) / $12.74 S&L

Multi-user eBook available $26.65 / $19.99 S&L

Available from our distributor Lerner Publisher Services


Individuals & families can find all editions at your favorite bookstores:

Large Print edition available








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Price: $16.99
Dimensions: 7.75 in × 5.25 in × 1 in