Hamline News

MFAC Alum Book Release: Christine Heppermann


Christine Heppermann’s MFAC ’10 latest book, Ask Me How I Got Here, a novel in verse for young adults, is being released May 3 by Greenwillow Books. 

Ask Me How I Got Here
by Christine Heppermann 

Published by Greenwillow Books
Release May 3, 2016
YA novel in verse, 240 pages
Order the book: HarperCollins
Christine’s Author site: christineheppermann.com


From the author of the acclaimed Poisoned Apples comes a novel in verse about a young woman and the aftermath of a life-altering decision. Powerful questions, difficult truths, and inner strength will speak to readers in Ask Me How I Got Here

Addie is in a safe, happy relationship with her boyfriend, and while they're usually careful, she ends up pregnant. When she decides to get an abortion, she knows it's the right decision for her, but she doesn't want anyone else in her life (even her boyfriend) to know. Addie unexpectedly finds peace in a new relationship with a fellow graduate from her religious school named Juliana. This story in verse manages to be sex-positive and feminist, showing that while abortion can be a big decision, it doesn't have to be as horrific and life-changing as some media would make young girls believe. 

Once again, Christine Heppermann writes with an unflinching honesty and a deep sensitivity about the complexities of being a teenager, being a woman. Her free verse poems are moving, provocative, and often full of wry humor and a sharp wit. Recently named to Bustle’s Top YA Books of May, with starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, and Horn Book!


“Concise, passionate poems… Heppermann’s discerning and incisive verse elegantly conveys the heightened sensitivity and multilayered complexity of Addie’s emotions.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

“The spare yet meaningful verse shines, while the poems ascribed to Addie herself are particularly poignant.... Teens mature enough to appreciate Heppermann’s subtlety will welcome this fresh, relatable novel that is bold enough to venture into relatively unexplored territory.… Standout.”
 —School Library Journal (starred review) 

“[Addie’s] observations are thought-provoking, wry, and bitingly smart. With her vibrant voice and rich characterization, Addie easily outshines the “issues” in this remarkable verse novel.”
—Horn Book (starred review) 

“The poetry is at times strikingly beautiful, as Addie reflects on her identification with Mary, works her way through her “cafeteria Catholicism,” and struggles to define her feelings toward the baby she chose not to have…a story with space for readers to fill in the gaps with their own interpretations.”
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books 

“This thought-provoking novel in verse is more about well-rounded Addie’s gratifying process of self-determination than her choice to end her pregnancy. This absorbing book would be an excellent choice for teen book groups.”


“Christine Heppermann grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. After graduating from an all-girls Catholic high school she went on to study philosophy and literature at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She has a masters degree in children’s literature from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

She has written about children’s literature for many years and currently reviews young adult books for the Chicago Tribune. Christine lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her two daughters, two cats, and one husband.” [From the author’s webpage.]

Christine’s other books include:
Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty
Backyard Witch: Sadie’s Story
Backyard Witch: Jess’s Story
City Chickens

The Backyard Witch series is being written in collaboration with Ron Koertge. Read an interview with them at The Storyteller's Inkpot

Read about Christine Heppermann’s journey to becoming a writer in “Launching a Career: Christine Heppermann MFAC ’10”

Keep up with Christine on twitter: @cmheppermann