Dancing at the Pity Party, by Tyler Feder

Books / Debut YA Books

Dancing at the Pity Party
By Tyler Feder
HC, US$18.99, Colour
Published by Dial Books / Penguin Random House Canada

Part poignant cancer memoir and part humorous reflection on a motherless life, this debut graphic novel is extraordinarily comforting and engaging.

From before her mother’s first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story in this graphic novel that is full of piercing–but also often funny–details. She shares the important post-death firsts, such as celebrating holidays without her mom, the utter despair of cleaning out her mom’s closet, ending old traditions and starting new ones, and the sting of having the “I’ve got to tell Mom about this” instinct and not being able to act on it. This memoir, bracingly candid and sweetly humorous, is for anyone struggling with loss who just wants someone to get it.

PRAISE

★ “Feder’s simple art features light pink backgrounds, a diverse cast of supporting characters, and details that make the story feel real . . .  this book offers a wealth of perspective about coping with grief.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ ”Equal parts celebration, reflection, and mourning, this graphic memoir touches on the unpredictable path of grief . . . Grieving teens will find incredible solace in Feder’s story; all readers will be stirred by this wrenching yet uplifting musing.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“The pastel-toned illustrations effectively convey Feder’s youth and the intensity of her emotions while emphasizing the ultimate message of survival and resilience in the face of life-changing grief. Cathartic and uplifting.” —Kirkus Reviews