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My So Called Family

Releases November 2024

It’s the first week of middle school, and Ash (don’t call her “Ashley”) already has a class assignment: Make a family tree. But how can Ash make a family tree if she doesn’t have a family? Ever since she was four years old, Ash has been in foster care, living with one so-called family after another. Now she’s stuck with Gladys. And the only place Ash feels safe is in the branches of her favorite tree, drawing in her sketchbook, hidden from the view of Gladys’ son Jordan.

As Jordan becomes harder to hide from, and more dangerous to be around, Ash isn’t sure who she can trust. A new friend, an old friend, some teachers at school? Sometimes the hardest part of asking for help is knowing who to ask.

In My So-Called Family, Gia Gordon weaves a lyrical story about complicated family dynamics that’s perfect for fans of Fish in a Tree and Counting by 7s.

Advance Praise

“A heart affirming, honest, and beautiful book. Gia Gordon has given us a story full of lyrical, exact, and tenacious prose, as we climb wise trees, cry, laugh, and find our voices alongside Ash. Ash and her spunky and brave group of friends teach us that found family, belonging, love, and joy can hold us close, even on our darkest days. I loved every page—a gorgeous rendering of what it means to find home in ourselves and others.”
Mariama J. Lockington, Stonewall Honor and Schneider Family Book Award winning author of In the Key of Us and Forever is Now

“With humor and compassion, Gia Gordon explores the nuances of what it means to be a family, respectfully balancing between the realities of foster care and the universal desire to belong. My So-Called Family hits home.”
G. Neri, Printz and Coretta Scott King Award-Winner of Ghetto Cowboy and Safe Passage

“Poignant, powerful, and brilliantly crafted. I couldn’t put this book down. This story is narrated authentically and respectfully . . . a true love letter to all kiddos searching for a place to call home. This much-needed book will stay with you long after you put it down.”
Ernesto Cisneros, Pura Belpré and International Latino Book Award Winning author of Efrén Divided and Falling Short.

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Releasing 2026

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