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The Half-Orphan's Handbook LAUNCH: Joan F. Smith with Laura Taylor Namey

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Joan F. Smith launches her debut YA novel The Half-Orphan's Handbook, in conversation with Laura Taylor Namey.

About this Event

Celebrate the launch of The Half-Orphan's Handbook with author Joan F. Smith and Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow author Laura Taylor Namey!

Copies of The Half-Orphan's Handbook purchased from this page will be signed and personalized.

How to Register

  • Register on this page to receive a Zoom Webinar link.
  • You can register for free, pay what you like (thank you for your support!), or buy the book to enter the event.
  • If you don't receive a confirmation email after registering, contact us right away.

Get Your Books

  • Event books are signed, shipped and held once ticket sales have closed.
  • STORE PICKUP- Pick up your book in person at Brookline Booksmith (Click here for directions). You will receive an email alert when your book is ready.
  • SHIPPING - Have your book shipped via USPS priority mail. Shipping is only available in the United States.

The Half-Orphan's Handbook

For fans of John Green and Emily X.R. Pan, The Half-Orphan's Handbook by Joan F. Smith is a coming-of-age story and an empathetic, authentic exploration of grief with a sharp sense of humor and a big heart.

It’s been three months since Lila lost her father to suicide. Since then, she’s learned to protect herself from pain by following two unbreakable rules:

1. The only people who can truly hurt you are the ones you love. Therefore, love no one.

2. Stay away from liars. Liars are the worst.

But when Lila’s mother sends her to a summer-long grief camp, it’s suddenly harder for Lila to follow these rules. Potential new friends and an unexpected crush threaten to drag her back into life for the first time since her dad’s death. On top of everything, there’s more about what happened that Lila doesn’t know, and facing the truth about her family will be the hardest part of learning how a broken heart can love again.

Joan F. Smith lives with her family in Massachusetts, where she works as an associate dean, a creative writing professor, and a dance instructor. She received her MFA in creative writing from Emerson College, and has written articles for The Washington Post and Thought Catalog on destigmatizing discussions around mental health and suicide prevention. The Half-Orphan's Handbook is her debut novel.

Moderator Laura Taylor Namey is a Cuban-American Californian who can be found haunting her favorite coffee shops, drooling over leather jackets, and wishing she was in London or Paris. She lives in San Diego with her husband, two superstar children, and her beloved miniature schnauzer/muse.

Suggested Giving

In keeping with the themes of the book, we and the author encourage giving to organizations that assist people struggling with mental illness and/or substance dependency.

The Massachusetts Association for Mental Health aims to advance mental health and well being by promoting prevention, early intervention, effective treatment and research to address social, emotional, and mental health challenges. Eliminate stigma and discrimination and ensure full social, economic, and political inclusion in all aspects of community life.

RIZE Massachusetts is an independent nonprofit foundation working to end the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts and reduce its devastating impact on people, communities, and our economy.

More About Brookline Booksmith

Brookline Booksmith, est. 1961, is a family owned bookstore located in the heart of Brookline, Massachusetts. Our event series is all about one thing: bringing people and the stories they value closer together. The series covers an eclectic blend of genres and topics for all ages, serving as a platform for seasoned authors, promising debuts, local launches, large scale national events, and all the places where they intersect.

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