Spring 2023

The Weight of Everything

  • Interest Level: Grade 7 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 7

It’s been six months since Sarah’s mom died. Three months since her dad fell apart. Sarah has left her fine arts boarding school to take care of her dad and her little brother, and now she’s trying to hold everything together at home while adjusting to the local public high school.

With her dad’s drinking and spending getting out of control, Sarah struggles to make sure that the bills are paid, that her brother is fed and safe, that her dad’s grief won’t crush them all. She has no time for art, unless she’s cranking out a piece to sell online for some grocery money. And she definitely doesn’t have the time or the emotional energy to find out if her sweet, handsome classmate, David Garza, could be more than a friend.

But then a school project prompts Sarah to delve into her mom’s Mexican and Guatemalan roots. As she learns more about this side of her heritage, Sarah starts to understand her mom better—and starts to face her own grief. When she stumbles upon a long-buried piece of history that mattered deeply to her mom, Sarah realizes she can’t carry her pain silently anymore. She has to speak up, and she can’t do it alone.

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On pre-order until 05/02/2023
On pre-order until 05/02/2023
Interest Level Grade 7 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 7
Genre Young Adult
Category Diverse Books: Mental Health & Neurodiversity, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diversity, SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: C Social Awareness, SEL: D Relationship Skills, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2023
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Lab ®
Language English
Number of Pages 240
Publication Date 2023-05-02
Text Type Fiction
BISACS YAF058050, YAF011000, YAF052020
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.5 x 8.25
Features Author/Illustrator biography and Reviewed


Francisco X. Stork

“A beautifully told, breathtaking story.”—Francisco Stork, author of On the Hook

Rebecca Balcárcel

“Prepare to be captivated by strong, resourceful, artistic Sarah as she holds her family together after tragedy. Written with clarity and insight, this book is driven by devotion to family, tender romance, and Sarah’s determination to use her artistic talent to right a wrong. A must-read for anyone who loves to cheer for a brave young woman!”—Rebecca Balcárcel, Pura Belpré Honor winning author of The Other Half of Happy

Crystal Maldonado

“A poignant, raw, and emotional story of grief, loss, and the courage it takes to fight for our beliefs—and ourselves.”—Crystal Maldonado, author of Fat Chance, Charlie Vega and No Filter and Other Lies

Author: Marcia Argueta Mickelson

Marcia Argueta Mickelson was born in Guatemala and immigrated to the United States as an infant. She attended high school in New Jersey and then graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in American Studies. She is the author of five novels including Star Shining Brightly, The Huaca, and Where I Belong, and she is a winner of the Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Honor. She lives in Texas with her husband and three sons.