Algonquin Young Readers Breaking into Sunlight
Algonquin Young Readers Breaking into Sunlight

Breaking into Sunlight

By John Cochran


Publication Date: June 18, 2024

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Ages 10 to 13, Grades 5 to 8

Reese is a seventh-grader in rural North Carolina who loves drawing, basketball, his hardworking mom, and his charming, charismatic dad. But then one day, he comes home to his worst nightmare – his dad on the floor, lips turning blue, overdosed. Again. Reese calls 911 and gets his dad out of danger, and he expects to go on as before. But for his mom, this is the breaking point, and she declares that she and Reese are leaving until Reese’s dad gets real help with his addiction. They move to a rundown trailer outside of town, where Reese is furious with his mom, scared for his dad, and terrified his friends will find out.


Then he meets Meg and Charlie, who have likewise been stranded by circumstances beyond their control. As the trio explores the blackwater river that runs nearby, Reese discovers new beauty and joy in nature and these fresh connections. His dad is also doing better, holding things together, and talking to his mom again. But how long can the good times last? And what will Reese do if — when — they end?

In the United States today, an estimated one in eight kids live with a parent with a substance-abuse problem. Written with bracing honesty, deep sympathy, and tenderness for all its characters, Breaking into Sunlight offers readers a powerful affirmation that no one is alone.

About the Author

John Cochran grew up in Kansas City and studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He worked as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers in Missouri, Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina before moving to Washington, D.C., to cover Congress for Congressional Quarterly. The National Press Foundation recognized his work with its Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress. He now lives on Capitol Hill with his wife and children. Breaking into Sunlight is his first novel. Visit his website at

Format: Hardcover

Length: 304 pages

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Publication Date: June 18, 2024

ISBN: 9781523527298

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