There's one other thing I should mention right off, which is that I'm fourteen years old and dying. (I guess that was two things, but the significance of one is sort of tied to the other, don't you think?)ðKate Benchworth
Kate Benchworth is far from typical. Having been diagnosed with a brain tumour that could end her life at any time, she views the world with refreshing honesty and rare insight. As her family and members of her community struggle to accept what lies ahead, Kate refuses to give in to self-pity. Determined to live each moment to the fullest, she falls in love with a boy locked up in the local jail and befriends the town recluse.
Valerie Sherrard's new novel is a moving tale about a young woman experiencing the best days of her life, all the while aware that the time she has left is rapidly disappearing.
"Kate is an emotionally honest story that will keep readers smiling through their tears." -Wendy Kitts, Atlantic Books Today, Spring 2004
Directed at young adults and written in journal form, each word of this novel is perfect - the raw, honest emotion of a 14-year-old navigating life and sadly, death. -Wendy Kitts, St. John Telegraph Journal July 5, 2004
"Author Valerie Sherrard ventures out into territory few writers would dare touch and succeeds in presenting a surprisingly well-balanced tale with humour and insight and does not overcast the novel with the darkness of Kate's circumstance. Just remember to keep the tissues handy." -Kate Larking, The Calgary Herald, August 14, 2004
"an enchanting, poignant story which will have you smiling right up until the last moment, even through your tears." (The New Brunswick Reader 2004-06-05)
"a sweet simple story of an adolescent girl in a small town in the 1960s who finds love, friendship and support in unlikely places." (Canadian Children's Book News, Winter 2004)
"an easy read that might appeal to reluctant readerswell done." (VOYA, April 2004)
"a moving, heartwarming story, with many insights to ponder." (Hi-Rise, April 2004)
"an emotionally honest story that will keep readers smiling through their tears." (Atlantic Books Today, Spring 2004)
"If you have a young reader at home, a Sherrard novel is a good way to reinforce a reading habit." (Ottawa Sun 2004-02-15)
Valerie Sherrard is the executive director of a group home for adolescents and has fostered more than 70 teenagers. Her first novel, Out of the Ashes, introduced the Shelby Belgarden Mystery series, and was a 2003 Red Maple Honour Book and a nominee for the Arthur Ellis Award for Juvenile Fiction. The second volume in the series, In Too Deep, was published in spring 2003. She lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick, with her husband, Brent.