In the year in which the world celebrates the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall—and waits, watchful, regarding unfolding events in Ukraine—Chronicle Books has released Beth Kephart's new novel, GOING OVER, a story of Berlin 1983.
Told in alternating voices, GOING OVER is the story of Ada, a pink-haired graffiti artist who lives in the west, and Stefan, a teen who lives with his grandmother among Stasi spies in the east. Ada is desperate for Stefan to leave his static life, his going-nowhere job at the ice factory, his thwarted dreams. Stefan, however, has seen, first-hand, the consequences of such risk taking. The novel, inspired by an actual escape attempt, reflects on the cost of divisions, the complexity of risk, and love that remains true. It is a timeless story set against a remarkable chapter in world history.
GOING OVER has garnered three starred reviews, is a Junior Library Guild selection, a School Library Journal pick of the day, and a top spring book at both Amazon and iBooks, among other things.
In its starred review, Booklist called it "a stark reminder of the power of hope, courage, and love."
In its starred review Shelf Awareness said: "GOING OVER carefully balances love and heartbreak, propelling readers through the story, constantly wondering about the fate of Savas and whether Stefan will be able to cross over. The dangers and consequences Kephart portrays are as real as the victories and joys."
"Researching and writing GOING OVER was a deeply emotional experience," says Kephart, who is the award-winning author of 17 other books, including HANDLING THE TRUTH: ON THE WRITING OF MEMOIR (Gotham Books, 2013 winner of Books for a Better Life, Motivational Category) and SMALL DAMAGES (Philomel, Carolyn W. Field Honor Award winner). "I fell hard for these two young people standing up not just for their own rights, but for the complicated rights of others."
Kephart, who is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, was named one of Philadelphia's 50 legacy writers in a 2013/2014 exhibit at the Philadelphia International Airport and is a Radnor High Hall of Famer. She is a National Book Award finalist and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pew Fellowships of the Arts, Leeway Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, among other honors.
Kephart writes monthly for Chicago Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer and blogs daily at www.beth-kephart.blogspot.com