This is Oma Springstubb a few months ago, celebrating her 92nd birthday with her two favorite things: friends and something delicious to eat.
She died last Sunday. Eunice was a true believer. For those of us who knew her well, it makes sense that she passed away in the afternoon, and the Cleveland Cavs won the NBA championship that evening. No doubt she had a word with the Man Upstairs.
At her funeral, when my daughter described her grandmother, the first word she used was “tenacious”. That only became more true the longer she lived. Eunice Enid was tenacious in her faith, her loyalties, her grudges. I dedicated a very early novel to her, with deep thanks for how she supported me in every way. As the years went by, I got to see her give that same unwavering support to my daughters and, for four happy months, to my own grandbaby.
She was a Lutheran who loved to belt out a hymn. She’d requested 15+ for her funeral service. We did our valiant best though, with her good ear, she was probably wincing. Sorry, Oma! We miss your voice so much.
My new book is touring Blog Land! You can get behind-the-scenes peeks at my inspirations, and enter giveaways, at
It’s out in the world!
The Horn Book has made it the book of the week. I’m so honored that Monica Edinger reviewed it.
Every Single Second
by Tricia Springstubb; illus. by Diana Sudyka
Middle School Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins 360 pp.
6/16 978-0-06-236628-3 $16.99 g
e-book ed. 978-0-06-236630-6 $9.99
Nella Sabatini’s life is largely centered on her tight-knit Italian American family, including her harried mother, her cemetery-groundskeeper father, her four unruly younger brothers, and her crotchety great-grandmother, Nonna. But things are changing around her: her school, St. Amphibalus, is closing due to high costs and low enrollment; college students and other Invaders (i.e., yuppies, professors, and people of color) are moving into the neighborhood; and the people Nella thought she knew best have deeply kept secrets. Nella’s friend, Clem, is obsessed with the idea of the upcoming “leap second,” and halfway through the book everything does change, tragically, in an instant. This terrible fulcrum of the novel is an event that upends families and brings to light issues of deep-seated racism, violence, post-traumatic stress, accountability, remorse, and regret. Springstubb adroitly weaves multiple story lines and themes throughout her nonlinear narrative, moving back and forth in time (“now”; “then”) and occasionally interrupting her omniscient third-person perspective with interstitial commentary from a mournful, stoic cemetery statue (“What the Statue of Jeptha A. Stone Would Say If It Could”). The result is a complex and rich tale, one that will have readers pondering, along with Nella, life’s big questions.
From the May/June 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.