Simon & Schuster

October 2007

$16.95 US

341p pb

ISBN: 978-1416967538

fp April 2005

Hold Me Tight

Lorie Ann Grover

from the book...

"I'm leaving."


Dad's words cam as a complete shock to Essie. How can he just walk out on her and the family, especially when Mom is pregnant?


Essie keeps her dad's leaving a secret. Then Essie's classmate, Chris Crow, disappears, and everyone finds out he's been kidnapped. Is Chris okay? Is Dad ever coming back? Essie is left to wonder if people really have any control over what happens in their lives.


Finally, after a startling incident with a family friend, Essie finds the strength to hold on tight to all that she has left -  and in the process realizes that the bonds of love and family do hold a person together.


Inspired by true events, Hold Me Tight is a moving and powerful novel.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A

Dad’s leaving, her classmate, Chris Crow, has been kidnapped and her mother is pregnant. Welcome to the life of Essie, a ten-year old girl who is going through a rough patch in her life. Essie is afraid to speak out and tell people what is happening because she is scared of what they will think of her. 

Although a lot is happening in Essie’s life she still has a lot of love and support from her mother, her brother, Dale and her best friend, Wally. After a horrific incident with an old family friend Essie realises this, moves on and lives life to the fullest.

Hold Me Tight got my emotions going on a roller coaster ride. It has a lot of meaning and is very powerful. I really connected with Hold Me Tight.

Most people aged 12 to 14, will understand and connect with Hold Me Tight and the main character Essie. Also in my opinion Hold Me Tight is more suitable for girls because boys would not connect with most of the things that are going on in the book.

Hold Me Tight is a great book that will get your emotions flowing and you will never want to put it down until you’re finished.

Madi, Year 9, Canberra, Australia

Hold Me Tight was written by Lorie Ann Grover. It told me about how families would feel when someone leaves them.

One Sunday night two words changed Essie Sherman’s life forever. “I’m leaving.” These words were a big shock to Essie, as her dad said it on his way out the front door. Her mum and brother, Dale are in shock too. Essie, Dale and their pregnant mum don’t know what to do. Essie thinks it’s all her fault because her dad left. A couple of days later just as nothing could go worse a kid from Essie’s class called Chris Crow was kidnapped at a bus stop. Essie was always scared that she was going to get kidnapped too. She is now depressed and has a strong angry feeling and hates her dad. As the story goes on Essie prays that Chris would be found and her mum, brother and her would be OK.

Hold Me Tight was an extremely powerful novel. I was really touched at how strong Essie stayed even though her family was struggling without her dad. The text was really descriptive and told many feelings. As the novel went on, it was a bit sad and Essie’s feelings of anger were getting stronger and stronger. The story has a great ending and you can feel the happiness in Essie as the new school year comes.

I would recommend this verse novel for kids 12 years and up. I would give it a rating of 9 out of 10

Matthew, age 11, Canberra, Australia

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