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Children's Fiction Friendship

Simon Sort of Says

by (author) Erin Bow

Scholastic Canada Ltd
Initial publish date
Feb 2023
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


A powerful new novel by Erin Bow, winner of the Governor General’s and TD Children’s Literature Awards.


Ask Simon O’Keeffe why his family moved to tiny Grin And Bear It, Nebraska, and he’ll tell you they were driven out of Omaha by alpacas.

In Simon’s version of the story, a blessing of the animals went sideways, his dad got fired from his church job, and the whole family moved to the National Quiet Zone, where the internet and cell phones are banned so astronomers can scan the sky for signs of alien life.

But there’s another story too — a story about a locked classroom, an active shooter, and a media cycle that refuses to let Simon go, even years later.

To everyone who knows what happened, Simon is either a miracle or a sob story. But Simon just wants to be Simon: a twelve-year-old in high tops and a Minecraft hoodie. Moving to the last town in America where no one can Google you is a chance for Simon to start fresh. To rewrite the narrative. And with the help of two new friends, a puppy, and a giant radio telescope, he’s determined to say something new.

About the author

Erin Bow is the author of The Scorpion Rules, which received three starred reviews and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year and it’s sequel, The Swan Riders, which received two starred reviews. She also wrote the acclaimed Russian-flavored fantasy Plain Kate, which received two starred reviews and was a YALSA Best Book of the Year, and the terrifying YA ghost story Sorrow’s Knot, which received five starred reviews and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year. Visit her at

Erin Bow's profile page

Editorial Reviews


"An uproarious small-town comedy with a devastating tragedy at its core, played out by a cast as memorable for its animals as its people. Adroit, sensitive, horrifying, yet hilarious." — Kirkus Reviews



"Bow cloaks a story of very real, tragic anxiety in a compassionate, funny, inventive tangle of characters, wacky incidents and physics. With a quick wit and imaginative exuberance, she offers a tale that’s heartwarming, comic and quite unpredictable." — Toronto Star



*“Original and sometimes disturbing, Plain Kate is a compelling story of dark magic and a remarkable debut by a talented writer.” (Plain Kate) — Quill & Quire, starred review




“… a story of strength, courage, and resilience that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt abandoned, alone, or doubted themselves and their place in the world. Bow delivers a jubilant tale that celebrates the power of family, love, and young women.” (Stand on the Sky) — Quill & Quire



Other titles by Erin Bow