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The Art of Holding On and Letting Go
The Art of Holding On and Letting Go

The Art of Holding On and Letting Go



307 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Trade Paper, $12.95 (US $12.95) (CA $15.95)

Publication Date: September 2016

ISBN 9780996864916

Rights: US & CA

Elephant Rock Productions, Inc. (Sep 2016)
Elephant Rock Books

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Competitive climber Cara Jenkins feels most at home high off the ground, clinging to a rock wall by the tips of her fingers. She has enjoyed a roaming life with her mountaineering parents, making the natural world her jungle gym and making the writings of Annie Dillard and Henry David Thoreau her textbooks. But when tragedy strikes on an Ecuadoran mountaintop, Cara’s nomadic lifestyle comes to an abrupt halt. Starting over at her grandparents’ home in suburban Detroit, Cara embarks on a year of discovery, uncovering unknown strengths, friendships, and first love. Cara’s journey illustrates the transformative power of nature, love and loss, and discovering that home can be far from where you started.


"Eloquent debut."  —Booklist

“Cara is an appealing, engaging narrator. Surrounded by a well-rounded cast, Cara's journey toward a peaceful, fulfilling life is almost perfectly depicted. A compelling, unusual coming-of-age story."  —Kirkus Reviews

“[Kristin Bartley Lenz] offers a thoughtful meditation on life after loss with the story . . . Lenz effortlessly explains complicated climbing terminology and intermixes moments of levity with contemplative quotations from naturalists and mountain climbers.”  —Publishers Weekly

"Although this tale is about one of the most risky and exhilarating sports of all, this book is rather quiet, gradual, and sweet."  — VOYA Magazine

"This is a richly layered story, visceral and thoughtful in equal parts."  —Tim Wynne-Jones, author, The Emperor of Any Place

“I loved this book. There's plenty of humor, a hint of romance, and great rock climbing scenes that will have you riveted.” —Anne Rouyer, New York Public Library

“Cara’s story is about finding yourself, your family, and your center. Lenz encourages readers to think outside the pages, to find their own place in the world as Cara discovers hers."  —Meghan Dietsche Goel, BookPeople, Austin, Texas

“A powerful, enveloping story about grief—the deep layers of heartbreak bubbling beneath the surface—and the ways relationships help us through our toughest times."  —Kelly Jensen,

Author Biography

Kristin Bartley Lenz is a writer and social worker whose career has taken her through rural Appalachia, the California Bay Area, and inner-city Detroit. She is the coeditor of the Michigan Chapter blog for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Royal Oak, Michigan.