328-page paperback / 5" x 8" / ISBN 9781589881792 / Publication Date: August 29, 2023 (now shipping)
"None of us is likely to forget the 'virustime,' but feisty, funny, resourceful, creative Arden (along with her quirky family and motley crew of rescue dogs) is a comforting and inspiring reminder that the worst of times can bring out the best in us. Ark will help young readers see how they, too, kindled their own light to find their way through a dark time."
—Lauren Wolk, author of Echo Mountain
Arden thinks the world has ended when her parents decide to trade their large house (where she has her own purple bedroom with a window seat!) for a small backyard guesthouse, built like a wooden boat. The worst part: it’s not big enough for their dog to come along. Things get even worse when her best friend moves away and a pandemic shuts school, leaving Arden’s family quarantined in very little space. Arden just wishes life would go back to normal.
As neighbors leave town, shut themselves away, and get sick, their pets are left behind, and Arden becomes the safe-keeper of all the abandoned animals. When the pandemic touches home, Arden must use all her creativity and courage to help those she loves―family, friends, and dogs!
"Elisabeth Sharp McKetta’s powerful novel Ark serves as a reminder that 'home is where your animals are.'"
"In this unforgettable, charming story, every reader will sympathize with Arden, who endures the loss of her best friend, her dog, and a home she adores. As the world becomes uncertain outside her new tiny house because of a virus, Arden's loneliness and frustration are palpable through Elisabeth McKetta's straight-forward, yet poetic style. In Ark, Elisabeth McKetta has conjured a unique family and a girl whom the reader longs to hug and befriend all the way to the end."
—Michelle Lee, author of Between the Lighthouse and You
“I loved this thoughtful page-turner. Heroine Arden—loving, plucky, and cranky often enough to ring 100% true—and her family charmed and enlightened me. I zipped through her story the first time, but I’ll return with a sharp pencil handy to better note the many wise passages.”
—Ellen Airgood, author of Prairie Evers
"Ark will inspire all who read it but especially middle graders who need something to hold on to when the world suddenly changes course. Beautiful and heartfelt, Ark is a lifeboat to sing in when any storm comes along.”
—Mary Sullivan Walsh, author of High
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Elisabeth Sharp McKetta is the author of thirteen books including She Never Told Me About the Ocean and Awake with Asashoryu, both published by Paul Dry Books, and Edit Your Life, published by Penguin Random House. She and her family used to live in a backyard tiny house in Boise, Idaho, like Arden and Martin; now they live in an ordinary house.