2005 White Pine Award — Shortlisted

2004 IODE Violet Downey National Book Award — Shortlisted

2004 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice Selection

There’s one other thing I should mention right off, which is that I’m fourteen years old and dying. (I guess that was two things, but the significance of one is sort of tied to the other, don’t you think?)

Kate Benchworth is far from typical. Having been diagnosed with a brain tumour that could end her life at any time, she views the world with refreshing honesty and rare insight. As her family and members of her community struggle to accept what lies ahead, Kate refuses to give in to self-pity. Determined to live each moment to the fullest, she falls in love with a boy locked up in the local jail and befriends the town recluse.

Valerie Sherrard’s new novel is a moving tale about a young woman experiencing the best days of her life, all the while aware that the time she has left is rapidly disappearing.


The Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice Selection
IODE Violet Downey National Book Award
White Pine Award


Kate is an emotionally honest story that will keep readers smiling through their tears.

Atlantic Books Today

Directed at young adults and written in journal form, each word of this novel is perfect — the raw, honest emotion of a 14-year-old navigating life and sadly, death.

St. John Telegraph Journal

Author Valerie Sherrard ventures out into territory few writers would dare touch and succeeds in presenting a surprisingly well-balanced tale with humour and insight and does not overcast the novel with the darkness of Kate's circumstance. Just remember to keep the tissues handy.

Calgary Herald

an enchanting, poignant story which will have you smiling right up until the last moment, even through your tears.

(June, 2004)

A sweet simple story of an adolescent girl in a small town in the 1960s who finds love, friendship and support in unlikely places.

an easy read that might appeal to reluctant readerswell done.

a moving, heartwarming story, with many insights to ponder.

If you have a young reader at home, a Sherrard novel is a good way to reinforce a reading habit.

(February, 2004)

About the Author

Valerie Sherrard

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014
Valerie Sherrard photo

Valerie Sherrard

Valerie Sherrard is the author of 12 previous novels for young people, including the Shelby Belgarden Mysteries, Watcher, Sarah's Legacy, Speechless, and her first historical novel, Three Million Acres of Flame. Her work has been shortlisted for numerous Canadian awards, including the Red Maple, White Pine, and Arthur Ellis Awards. She lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick.