If Only

by Carole Geithner

Scholastic Press
March 2012

Ages 12 – 17 . Grades 7 – 12

Library of Congress: 2010026527

Lexile measure: 810L

DRA: 60

Guided Reading: W



Corinna's world is crushed after her mother dies of cancer. How does she get through the funeral, trays of ziti, a father who can't communicate, the first day of school, Mother's Day, people who don't know what to say, and the entire eighth-grade year? Despite her alienation from many of her peers, including her best friend, she succeeds in finding support. She dares to bare her innermost fears, hurts, and wishes, and even allows herself to have a flowering crush on a boy in the school band. She also finds out deep secrets about her mother which she never knew. It's a year that will change Corinna's life forever.
Carole Geithner

The emotional power of IF ONLY is informed by Carole's more than twenty years of experience as a clinical social worker, working with scores of children who have had a parent die, as well as adults whose childhoods were shaped by parent loss. Carole is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at George Washington University School of Medicine. This is her first novel. She lives with her family in Maryland.


--- - From If Only

It's fourth period, and so far, Joci hasn't been in any of my classes. My English teacher, Miss B. B. Beatty (everyone calls her Miss Boppity Bop), comes up to me as soon as I sit at a desk in the back, next to the window.

"Corinna, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom," she whispers.

I don't hear anything she says after that. I have to block my ears and brain or I might lose it right here in front of everyone. I tell myself, "I must not cry at school or I might not be able to stop. I must not cry at school." I wonder if all my teachers know, and if they do, why Miss Boppity Bop is the first to say anything to me.

The one good thing about this class so far is that Miss Boppity Bop doesn't make us stand up in front and talk about what we did over summer vacation. I've had to do that practically every year since kindergarten. What would I say? "My vacation sucked. My mom died. The end."


ISBN: 9780545234993

336pp. | 5-½ x 7-½