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Seventeen-year-old Cordelia Koenig intended to breeze through her senior project: she'd just use the same trace-your-roots genealogy idea her older sister used years before. All she needs to do is mail in her DNA sample, write about her ancestry results, and get that easy A.
But Cordelia’s GeneQuest results reveal that her father is not the person she thought he was. Instead, he is a stranger who lives thousands of miles away. Now she isn’t sure of anything—not the mother who lied, the man she calls Dad, or the girl staring back at her in the mirror.
Dante Medema is an author of books for young readers. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska, with her husband, four daughters, and a room full of alien memorabilia—and books, of course. When she’s not writing, she dabbles in baking, decorating, painting, sewing, and reading up on Enneagram personality types.
For the most part, Hannah's life is just how she wants it. She has two supportive parents, she's popular at school, and she's been killing it at gymnastics. But then her cousin Cal moves in. Cal tells half-truths and tall tales, pranks Hannah constantly, and seems to be the reason her parents are fighting more and more. Hannah knows that Cal went through a lot after his mom died and she is trying to be patient, but most days she just wishes Cal never moved in.
For his part, Cal is trying his hardest to fit in, but not everyone is as appreciative of his unique sense of humor and storytelling gifts as he is. Humor and stories might be his defense mechanism, but if Cal doesn't let his walls down soon, he might push away the very people who are trying their best to love him.
Told in verse from the alternating perspectives of Hannah and Cal, this is a story of two cousins who are more alike than they realize and the family they both want to save.
Ellen Hopkins is the award-winning author of twenty nonfiction books for children, fourteen New York Times bestselling young adult novels, and four novels for adults. Closer to Nowhere is her debut middle grade novel, written in her signature verse style. She lives with her extended family near Carson City, Nevada.