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The mini mart clerk has been shot, the murderer is loose in the neighborhood, middle school has just started, the man who lives on the other sides of the fence is about to sell his rabbits to a restaurant, on September 23 the mean neighbor boy with the mean dog is getting a gun for his birthday, and Maggie Alder is sure that it is up to her, and only her, to save everyone.
 

The Best Worst Thing is a story about learning what you can control (almost nothing) and the good (sometimes even best) things that can come of finally letting go. 

 
 
An emotionally intense coming-of-age story. Lane crafts a powerful portrait of a girl wrangling with deeply relatable concerns, which will easily resonate with readers confronting a complex and uncertain world.
— PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY, STARRED REVIEW
Not only can this book serve as bibliotherapy for those with obsessive-compulsive disorder and high anxiety, but readers of all kinds will also find much here to ponder and discuss.
— SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, STARRED REVIEW
An incandescent debut. Long after you’ve finished THE BEST WORST THING, you’ll remember Kathleen Lane’s brave and good-hearted Maggie and how she learns to face her fears. A writer to watch, a voice to savor, a novel to cherish.
— KATHERINE APPLEGATE, NEWBERRY MEDAL-WINNING AUTHOR OF THE ONE & ONLY IVAN
I loved this book. Simple, tender, and real, The Best Worst Thing is packed with heart.
— ALI BENJAMIN, AUTHOR OF NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST, THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH
I felt as if it was written about me even though the actual details were very different from my life. I think a lot of girls starting middle school will be able to relate to this book. This book is really hard to put down because it has a lot of twists and the characters seem very real.
— NAOMI, BOOKBAR KID & TEEN ADVISORY BOARD
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TEACHERS, COUNSELORS, BOOK GROUPS—LOOKING FOR WRITING EXERCISES TO GO ALONG WITH YOUR READING OF THE BEST WORST THING? CONTACT ME FOR IDEAS, OR TO SCHEDULE A WORKSHOP

 
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Kathleen lives in Portland, Oregon, where she writes, teaches, and co-hosts the art & literary event series SHARE. Her short stories can be found in Berkeley Fiction Review, Swink Magazine, Poor Claudia, Coal City Review, Forest Avenue Press's anthology The Night, And The Rain, And the River, and elsewhere. She has taught writing at Pacific Northwest College of Art as a visiting artist, and this year will continue working with Portland high school students as a writer-in-residence with Oregon Literary Arts .

 


Upcoming readings:
Denver— Teen Happy Hour at Bookbar—4pm September 25
New York—Banned Books Week—September 27, time/place tbd
Portland—Annie Bloom's Books—October 19, 7pm
Portland—Wordstock Festival—Portland Art Museum—November 5, details to come

Thanks to Powell's Books for including The Best Worst Thing in its Midyear Roundup, Best Books of 2016 So Far.

Lovely reviews from Waking Brain Cells,  proseandkahn and Children's Book & Media Review.

New work on the SHARE blog by artists (writers, painters, musicians...) who participated in SHARE No. 25.

The Best Worst Thing receives starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly and School Library Journal

Where Have All the Boys Gone? awarded second place in Berkeley Fiction Review's Sudden Fiction Contest.

Reading Jim Shepard's powerful novel, The Book of Aron.