Square Fish
Henry Holt and Company

March 2011

$7.99 US

53p pb

ISBN: 978-0312661694

fp March 2003

followed by Keeping The Night Watch

The Way A Door Closes

Hope Anita Smith

illustrations by Shane W. Evans

from the book...

My best friend, Preacher, is being just that. His sermon today is on fathers and I am his congregation.

“Dads are light. They have no roots.

One strong wind, and they’re gone.

Out of here. History.”


With a click, a bang, a whisper—or no noise at all. There are so many ways that a door can close, but it’s not just the closing; it’s the knowing. And thirteen-year-old CJ knows too much—about losing his father, about his family’s pain, and especially about what it means to hold things together when times are the toughest.


In this beautifully written and powerfully moving novel in poems, Hope Anita Smith tells the story of a young man’s struggle to accept a father who has walked out on his family. Here, in CJ’s words, is a portrait of hurt and healing, and finding the strength to open the door again.

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