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After Zero by Christina Collins

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We received the book After Zero by Christina Collins for my daughter to read. It’s a tween book (ages 8-12) and my 11 year old daughter read it.

Disclosure: We received a copy of this book in exchange for review. This post contains affiliate links.

After Zero

After Zero by Christina CollinsSourceworks Jabberwocky (2018)
241 pages

Summary: Elise carries a notebook full of tallies, each page marking a day spent at her new public school, each stroke of her pencil marking a word spoken. A word that can’t be taken back. Five tally marks isn’t so bad. Two is pretty good. But zero? Zero is perfect. Zero means no wrong answers called out in class, no secrets accidentally spilled, no conversations to agonize over at night when sleep is far away.

But now months have passed, and Elise isn’t sure she could speak even if she wanted to―not to keep her only friend, Mel, from drifting further away―or to ask if anyone else has seen her English teacher’s stuffed raven come to life. Then, the discovery of a shocking family secret helps Elise realize that her silence might just be the key to unlocking everything she’s ever hoped for…

My daughter’s thoughts:

“The book After Zero is so amazing! Probably one of the best books I’ve ever read! It’s so powerful and really gets you thinking. I read chapters and chapters at a time because it was so intriguing. It had a lot of emotional and physical connections that tweens and teen and even adults could relate too. It’s poetic and has some beautiful messages. I loved this book so much! I don’t have any complaints, it was awesome!”

From the Author’s Note:

“While After Zero is a work of fiction loosely inspired by the Brothers Grimm tale “The Twelve Brothers”, the moments in which Elise experiences anxiety about speaking are inspired by my past adolescent experience with low-profile selective mutism.”

This would be an awesome book for a child with selective mutism or for a sibling of a child with the condition. It’s also good in general just to bring more awareness to this condition. Well done Christina Collins.


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Mom of five, Girl Guide leader, Blogger, Social Media Enthusiast, Knowledge Seeker, Canadian.

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