Excerpt Time! Read the Beginning of “The Gray” by Chris Baron
All right, you yahoos. Time to do some serious excerpting. Now I know that if you read my blog on the regular, you probably like books. And if you’re anything like me, you probably also like free stuff. Book excerpts, therefore, are the perfect amalgamation of these two “likes”. They give you the delights of a book with all the thrills of a movie preview.
Now THE GRAY by Chris Baron (out June 13th) is tackling the subject of anxiety. Normally at this point in the post I’d just cut and paste the publisher description of the book. I’m not going to do that today, though, because this is one of those rare cases where the email I received from Kelsey Marrujo, the Assistant Director of Publicity at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, contained a description much better than anything I read elsewhere. Here’s how Kelsey sold the book to me:
“THE GRAY (Feiwel & Friends, on sale 6/13/23), follows a boy spending the summer in the country with his widowed aunt to help deal with his anxiety. This is Chris’s most personal book yet, inspired by his pre-teen move from NYC to a farm upstate, how it was an escape from bullying, and how caring for horses helped him develop confidence to manage his anxiety.
Obviously, anxiety in children is on the rise. THE GRAY offers a look at the realities of middle-schoolers dealing with this, without offering platitudes or tidy endings. Like Chris’s experience, protagonist Sasha faces bullying, “toughen up” messaging from his own father, and constant reminders of his late uncle—all of which trigger episodes of anxiety, which he calls “The Gray.” But when he’s matched up with a horse at a local ranch coincidentally named The Gray, he feels a kindred spirit, and his management strategies start to change.
In THE GRAY, Chris—a parent and educator of over 20 years—explores tech’s role in regards to anxiety disorders, the vast differences and approaches the various generations have to understanding anxiety, the benefit of humans interacting with horses when it comes to healing and confidence, and the holistic, community effort required to help kids with anxiety.”
As someone who knows kids with anxiety, this struck home for me. So here’s an excerpt from THE GRAY by Chris Baron for everyone who might be curious about it:
Thanks again to Kelsey Marrujo and the folks at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for this excerpt today. You can find The Gray by Chris Baron on shelves everywhere as of June 13th. Look for it then!
Filed under: Excerpts
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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