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A Novel

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If only.
Two words that’ll kill. Slowly.
But maybe, that’s what you deserve. 

When one teen dies in a tragic accident, the lives of three others are forever changed.  One turns to alcohol to escape his guilt.  Another looks to a gang to replace what he’s lost.  Ben must find the strength to break through a growing web of lies and convince everyone at school that he was not to blame.  But first he has to convince himself.

WINNER, McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, 2014
FINALIST, Forest of Reading, White Pine Award 2013
SELECTION, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Fall 2013

“Nelson masterfully explores the ways in which boys cope with tragedy and grief … The novel is perfectly paced, and the seriousness of the issues such as abuse, bullying, and alcoholism are offset by lighter action scenes describing Ben’s skateboarding tricks. Covering ground seldom seen in YA literature, this novel is one that will generate discussion and is a necessary addition to any high school classroom shelf.” — Recommended Book, Canadian Children’s Book News

“The theme of how grief is handled by men and boys permeates this novel and makes it a must-read for teachers and older teens, both boys and girls.”
— Highly recommended, CM Magazine

The Fall possesses an admirable grittiness.” — Feature Review, Quill & Quire

“[Colleen Nelson] brings her careful sense of observation to bear on the development of her story and characters.” — Resource Links

“[Colleen Nelson] has a sharp ear for authentic dialogue … The dragons Ben faces are gangs, drugs and alcohol, but they are just as real and much more menacing than medieval monsters.  Teens will relate to many things in this novel.” — The Winnipeg Free Press

“[Colleen Nelson’s] practice listening to kids is evident in the book’s pages, where the teens’ exchanges with adults as well as their peers ring true” — CBC Manitoba Scene

“I found my emotions running wild while reading The Fall … this is a book that readers everywhere should experience. To see the impact of death, and to witness the strengths that people didn’t know they had until after tragedy strikes.” – Chapter by Chapter

Catch Colleen on Shaw TV here!

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