Foreword Reviews gives Breath to Breath 5/5 hearts
“From the haunting, disturbing opening, all the way to the riveting climax, Lew delivers a tale of a boy on the brink of both discovery and destruction, whose poetic voice shines forth from inner darkness. “
Relish Media Launches
in Publishers Weekly
“San Francisco’s Little Pickle Press faced a situation that many children’s presses encounter – its readers were growing up.”
“September Productions, in partnership with March 4th Productions, is currently developing a feature film adaptation of the series.”
What Readers Are Saying…
“William Stout, a recent transplant from Kansas, is hoping his move to California will be the fresh start he needs. After his grandfather passes from cancer, he moves to California to live with his estranged father. The 17-year-old William remembers very little of his parents, yet something about his new neighborhood seems oddly familiar, something that threatens to trigger the violent tendencies he seeks to repress. Counseling, a potential girlfriend, a new job, and a starting spot on the school football team help him manage his anger. However, run-ins with a mysterious child lead William to discover hidden talents and pieces of his past that threaten to unravel the new life he has created. Although he does not know the child, he is plagued by the unshakable feeling that the child is suffering horrific abuse, and he is determined to help. Written in short, impactful poetic prose, this is a gut-wrenching novel that manages to be dark and hopeful. It is a suspenseful mystery with a revelation that is unexpectedly sad and heartbreaking. VERDICTA tough choice for sensitive readers, this is recommended for older, mature teens.” — Tamela Chambers, Chicago Public Schools, IL, School Library Journal
“The climax of the novel achieves that perfect balance of believability and unpredictability… Well-drawn secondary characters, notably love interest Shasten and lab partner Ollie, add richness and dimension to the story.” — The Pirate Tree
“Breath to Breath left me speechless. It’s a powerful, raw story that grabbed me from page one and dragged me through a turbulent, emotional journey of pain and terror, healing and triumph, bringing clarity and hope. I loved it.”—Ann K., age 18, Benicia, CA
“Craig, your book was hard to put down. A truly gripping and troubling story in a good way.
If it helps a few readers understand the complexity of abuse you have done your job.”—Dr. Stan Steiner, the “Bookman”
“reath to Breath was a brilliant novel, although it was sadly inspired by a true story. The characters were constructed greatly, so much so that I really hate Needlemier because I’m pretty sure this character doesn’t have a soul. I really like the format of the actual text in the novel because it makes it so much easier to just fly throughout the story. Its really saddening that this is inspired by a true story, and I hate that this stuff actually happens to some children and that this is their reality. In the actual novel, the author provides information abut places that could help someone in a situation similar to that of William’s. This book somewhat talks about something that not everyone seems to see of even remember, this brings some focus on a real problem. Craig Lew did a brilliant job on writing about a horrible reality.” — Nadia Caballero, San Francisco Book Review
“Lew creates a story that reads like prose, but makes the reader feel the poetry inside. He grabs the reader with insightful line breaks, word choice, and style that are easy to appreciate without consciously thinking about them while reading. I loved how Lew was also able to use the different poem breaks to create strong pacing. You won’t want to put it down once you start.”—A.R. Braithwaite, Folded Pages Distillery
“Wow. This is a powerful story and incredibly beautifully written (free-form verse). I had trouble putting it down and am looking forward to anything new from this author.”—Danielle
“The horrific and the noble are at war in Breath to Breath. Craig puts them on the same page with an artistic touch. His writing is compelling and beautiful even while dealing with violence and cruelty. I was completely absorbed by the story.”—Charlene Ellen
“Child abuse, football, hazing, a beautiful girl — this story has it all. And it is written in verse too. I read it cover-to-cover and couldn’t put it down.”—Robyn Young
“The subject matter is gritty and at times harrowing, with violence and graphic sexual content. The choice of verse proves very apt for converting these hard moments. No scene or language felt extraneous and knowing this was based on a true story, helped me understand the content choice. Despite the lies, betrayal and abuse William has experienced, the novel is beautiful and the thread of empathy woven throughout the story allows for an uplifting aftertaste when the last page has been read.”—Joanna Marple, Miss Marple’s Musings
“This is the kind of book that will seriously affect you. It’s not an easy read, and the ending shattered me. But it’s important to read books that will affect you, not just the ones that will make you smile. These things happen in the world; the least we can do is bear witness. Highly recommended.”—KellyVision
“Lew’s skill with verse makes this novel sing with emotion. Each word on the page is necessary, no fluff words added to dull the message of growth and healing woven throughout the novel. I found William an easy narrator to sink into, and empathize with – even when his soul searching and anguish was enough to bring me to tears. William is so true to life, and real, that it was difficult for me to divorce myself from him when I put the book down for a breather. I found, as I went about my day, that he was haunting me, and I absolutely felt driven to return to him to find out how his story would be resolved.”—Tatiana S, Books, Cats, and Caffeine
“Intense, visceral, raw, and healing, this novel, simply put, is about a survivor, but, also, about the choices one makes to move past survival into fully embracing life, with all its ugliness and beauty, which oftentimes live side by side.”—Cleaver Magazine
“The imagery and story were vivid and engaging. This kind of story telling, this art form, takes some serious talent and Craig Lew has it.”—Hikari, Folded Pages Distillery
Craig’s first event was covered by School Library Journal!
Craig was featured, along with New York Times Bestselling Author Ellen Hopkins and Kristin Elizabeth Clark at the Teenquake and Not Your Mother’s Book Club October 2015 event. All three authors discussed their novels in verse.