Hamline News

New Novel from New MFAC Faculty Brandy Colbert

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Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert (MFAC Faculty)
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
August 2018

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For fans of Nicola Yoon and Nina LaCour comes a striking novel about difficult choices from acclaimed author Brandy Colbert.

Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.

Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He's mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.

From the author of Pointe and Little & Lion, comes another heartfelt novel about the twists and turns that can show up on a path meant only for you.

Read an excerpt here.





“Colbert (Little & Lion) delivers another emotionally layered story, this time centered around Yvonne, a young African-American woman struggling to figure out what she wants to do with her life—torn between whether to attend a music conservatory and try to become a professional violinist, or give up the violin and choose another profession. [...] Colbert shows a clear knack for secondary characters, and she surrounds Yvonne with a best friend who’s her equal in thoughtfulness, as well as the ever-gentle, if prone to mistakes, Warren. As Yvonne’s struggles grow to include life-changing decisions, this accessible, nuanced novel will reward patient readers.”
–Publishers Weekly

"Brandy Colbert has crafted a meaningful and masterful book that explores all of the different ways that we can surprise ourselves. Yvonne's path through family ties, hidden talents, and difficult decisions reveals the hard-won truth of an unforgettable character. I loved this book."
―Robin Benway, National Book Award Winner and New York Times bestselling author of Far From the Tree

"A pitch-perfect song of a book about all the ways a heart can break and mend, Finding Yvonne will stay with you long past its final, bittersweet notes."
―Elana K. Arnold, author of National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of

"Colbert's excellent ear for dialogue is on display in her latest, and she does a fantastic job of capturing the particular anxieties of a highly intelligent, talented teen at a crossroads, as well as the weight of microaggressions about everything from race to sexuality to economic status."

"Readers will be able to relate to the challenges faced by the diverse and realistic characters that Colbert has created."
―School Library Connection

"[Yvonne's] a compelling protagonist, and she'll speak to readers thrown by the lack of certainty in their own futures."
―Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Congratulations, Brandy!