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Counting Thyme
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Counting Thyme

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  2,506 ratings  ·  442 reviews
When eleven-year-old Thyme Owens’ little brother, Val, is accepted into a new cancer drug trial, it’s just the second chance that he needs. But it also means the Owens family has to move to New York, thousands of miles away from Thyme’s best friend and everything she knows and loves. The island of Manhattan doesn’t exactly inspire new beginnings, but Thyme tries to embrace ...more
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Lilah Kottke When Thyme does chores or stuff to help her family out, her parents give her time slips. Depending on how big or helpful the chore, she will get more …moreWhen Thyme does chores or stuff to help her family out, her parents give her time slips. Depending on how big or helpful the chore, she will get more time, which can be used to do things like screen time or going somewhere. She keeps the time slips in her Thyme Jar.(less)
Alicia yup i think this is a summer reading book for our school

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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  2,506 ratings  ·  442 reviews

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Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
four stars for me-as-reader, five stars for its intended audience.

this is certainly the year of middle grade for me! and i'm learning that there's a lot out there in this formerly-unexplored-by-me section of the publishing world that i genuinely enjoy, despite being such an old, old grouch.

this is a completely winsome book that perfectly captures the feeling of being an eleven-year-old girl trying to navigate her changing family dynamic and find her own place in the larger world.

when her five-ye
Heidi Heilig
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Haven't finished a book in one reading streak for a while. COUNTING THYME fixed that.

COUNTING THYME is a story about a middle-child swept up in family tragedy. It's a story about feeling ignored--invisible--unimportant. The pain of not being seen--and then feeling selfish for asking to be seen when there are bigger things going on--rang true.

It's also a book about finding your place in the world. The details in COUNTING THYME blew me away. I, too, moved to NYC at a young age and Conklin got it
Brooks Benjamin
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

You know, no one ever said reading books was easy. Some are, sure. But some grind you up into an emotion-filled pulp and leave you puddling on the floor at every turn of the page. You being wondering what in the actual expletive was running through the author's head when she wrote it. Was she trying to transform people into wads of blubbering messes? Was she sitting there at her laptop grinning evilly, fueled by pictures of her read
Bridget Hodder
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade

The lovely Middle Grade novel COUNTING THYME is an engaging exploration of truths withheld and truths denied. It's also about learning to recognize the power of the deepest truth within ourselves: love.

The story is told in a genuine Middle Grade voice, by 11-year-old Thyme Owens. Her family has pulled up stakes in California and moved to New York City, in a desperate bid to find a cure for her little brother's cancer.

Thyme thinks of California as "home" and counts up the minutes and hours her p
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
I received an advance copy of COUNTING THYME in exchange for an honest review.

There was so much I loved about this book. The characters all have their own personalities, quirks, and lovable traits. Some of them appear most often in the serious parts of the story, while others lighten things up just when you need it.

We get to know Thyme so well and experience the up and down emotions she goes through. And you'll learn the double meaning of the title, which also gives you an inside glimpse into
Victoria Coe
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance copy of COUNTING THYME by Melanie Conklin in exchange for an honest review. This is the story of 11-year-old Thyme Owens who moves with her family from San Diego to New York so her younger brother Val can participate in a cancer drug trial. As the whole family experiences ups and downs during the adjustment to their new (temporary) life in New York, Thyme harbors a secret plan to return to her best friend and grandmother in San Diego. But even thinking about the plan only c ...more
Laura Shovan
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't review books, but I do blog about them.

Read my post about COUNTING THYME here:
Kathleen Glasgow
I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Melanie Conklin's gorgeous middle grade debut COUNTING THYME. Thyme Owens is the big sister of Val, her five-year-old brother who suffers from a type of cancer called neuroblastoma. Her family moves from San Diego quite suddenly in order to enroll him in a new drug trial. Thyme is in a noisy new city, with no friends, a new school, no grandma, and nowhere to turn. I had the strangest sensation reading this book; it took me until about the middle w ...more
Lois Sepahban
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky to read an advanced copy of COUNTING THYME.

Thyme Owens has all of the typical 11-year-old struggles: friendship problems, sibling problems, a new school, and a first crush. While Thyme navigates those struggles, she also has to contend with something really big: her little brother has cancer. So for Thyme, every choice becomes a conflict between being helpful and hopeful for her little brother or doing something for herself.

Thyme's experience is real and authentic and often painful.
Erin Petti
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is an enthusiastic 5-star review. This book is special.

I usually won't choose a story when I know beforehand that there's a sick child involved. I'm pretty sensitive. But if I'd have let that stop me from reading COUNTING THYME, I would have missed out on a rich, lovely, pitch-perfect Middle Grade book.

Conklin plays the major and minor chords of this story with subtlety, grace, and humor. The result is a full and beautiful mov
Sarah Ahiers
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an arc of this in return for a fair review.

Ugh, this book kind of broke me. In a good way.

Thyme has just moved to New York City with her family because her younger brother, who's suffering from neuroblastoma (nerve cancer), has been entered into a drug trial. Thyme loves her brother so much, and desperately wants him to be well again, but she also loves her home she's leaving behind, her best friend, her grandmother and the secret garden they've planted.
Thyme's parents
Mar 27, 2014 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
The novel follows 11-year-old Thyme Owens, who moves from San Diego to New York City after her brother is accepted into a cancer drug trial. There, she discovers that hope can be found in everyday miracles: in first crushes, in budding friendships, in school plays, and in a sister's love for her little brother. ...more
Jenn Bishop
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a sucker for any book that’ll give me the feels. My debut is, admittedly, a tearjerker, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I was drawn to another middle grade tearjerker, Melanie Conklin‘s debut Counting Thyme.

Eleven-year-old Thyme Owens has just left her beloved home (and grandmother, and best friend) behind in San Diego, and moved to the Big Apple. But her eyes aren’t starry with dreams of Broadway and everything else that New York City has to offer; Thy
Lindsay Eagar
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Thyme's family moves to New York City so her younger brother, Val, can participate in a drug trial for his neuroblastoma cancer. She must deal with a new city, a new school, new peers, all the while desperately missing her hometown and best friend.

Conklin stitches together a book about moving and a book about childhood cancer into a nuanced story about family and sacrifice. The writing itself is beautiful but subtle, and woven with the tiniest emotional details. The Owens are all vivid, well-wr
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was an absolute delight.

Thyme Owens and her family need to move from their home in California to an apartment in NYC because her little brother, Val, has the opportunity to be part of a cancer drug trial that could help save his life. Of course they're going to go, but that doesn't mean that Thyme isn't a little bit sad about the upheaval. She's leaving her best friend Shani, her house, her grandma! And for any middle schooler, this is A LOT, especially on top of everything her family
Mike Grosso
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A very sweet, real book about a family in a situation most will hope to never be in.

Everyone in Thyme's family plays their important part, even if they don't always understand which part that is. Thyme's feelings are harsh at times, but legitimate and realistic. She knows the gravity of the situation, and still can't help feeling like she doesn't "count" in the family. Her exploration in this regard is both painful and reassuring.

There is so much to infer as to her parents' emotions. It's plain
Sara Grochowski
Thyme is unhappy when her parents decide that their entire family must pack up and move to New York, but her feelings are unimportant next to her little brother Val’s needs. A chance to beat Val’s cancer waits in the city, so, for now, Thyme must say goodbye to her grandmother and friends. Will Thyme adjust to the difficult changes in her life that are feeling less and less temporary? Or will she spend the days, hours, and minutes counting down until she’s able to return home? Melanie Conklin’s ...more
Elly Swartz
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Grab the tissues and block off the afternoon. That’s the way I read Counting Thyme and I highly recommend all of it. The time, the tissues, the book. What a wonderfully emotional and heart tugging story with truly authentic characters. I fell in love with Thyme in the first paragraph. In those few lines, I knew her truth and her heart. Thyme, her sister, Cori, and her parents, all want, Val, the littlest in the family who’s fighting cancer, to get better, to be better. They have all given up muc ...more
Lee Malone
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a gem of a book, with complex and captivating characters. Thyme Owens, the narrator, is dealing with the regular stuff of starting a new middle school — making friends, first crushes, and finding herself. But she's also dealing with an enormous family problem, and the reason they moved in the first place: her little brother has cancer, and they moved for his treatment. Thyme has to navigate petty disagreements among friends, boys, and school all while dealing with a terrible case of home ...more
Monica Tesler
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! While it deals with a difficult topic--childhood cancer from the sibling's perspective--the story has such strong underlying plots and themes that it becomes broadly relatable. As someone who moved around a lot growing up, I really identified with Thyme's transition to her new home in New York and the inner struggle of trying to cling to what you left behind while trying to build something new and the guilt and longing that comes on both sides of that. I particularly admire ho ...more
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read COUNTING THYME as part of an ARC tour.

11 yo Thyme feels like she no longer counts. Her younger brother battles cancer and her family leaves everything she’s ever known to relocate to New York for a drug trial. Her parents’ attention is consumed by caring for her brother. Her sister reacts by ignoring everyone else. Meanwhile, Thyme accumulates time--one hour here, two there—as slips of paper rewarded by her parents for cooperation. Thyme plans to collect enough slips to ask to return to
Abby Cooper
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I finished COUNTING THYME less than 24 hours after I started it. It's one of those books where you become so emotionally invested in the characters that you can't stop until you know if everything's going to be okay. This book was one of the most authentic I've ever read - Thyme's experiences, reactions, thoughts, feelings and relationships are just SO perfectly middle grade. I'd spend "thyme" with her (and any other book Conklin wr
Wendy MacKnight
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads
In Counting Thyme, author Melanie Conklin takes her readers on a journey with a wonderful family coping with the devastating reality that their youngest member, Val, is fighting and perhaps dying or a rare cancer. Everything is told through the eyes of our heroine, Thyme, who must cope with a cross-country move, middle grade and middle child drama, and the reality that she is often forgotten in the "new normal" of Val's illness and clinical trials. The characters are amazingly constructed; every ...more
Jenny Moyer
This book grabbed me by the heart and didn't let go! The characters are so real, and the main character's emotional journey so genuine, that at times I just ached for Thyme and her family. Conklin explores love and loss in all its facets, with intriguing characters with multi-layered depth. This is the kind of book you can learn things from: about love, loss, acceptance, and growing up--all with hope intertwined. COUNTING THYME reached me at my core, and I'm better for having read it.

I received
Mary Lee
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this! It's been a long time since characters and a story grabbed me like this and wouldn't let me go until I finished the book! ...more
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I knew I would like this one as soon as I read the description. I'm a sucker for "disease books." Melanie Conklin's work did not disappoint. Told from eleven-year-old Thyme's point of view it is the story of a family who moves from San Diego (my former stomping ground) to the Big Apple so five-year-old Val can participate in an experimental treatment for his life-threatening cancer. Thyme is a delightful character and Conklin does an excellent job of incorporating just the right amount of releva ...more
Ruth Lehrer
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get a free ARC of this book. Such a sweet story! The details totally made it all come together. Anyone who has ever lived in New York City will recognize the schools, the streets and subways (whoops, got on an express instead of a local.) Anyone who has ever lived in the country and gone to the city will empathize with Thyme's culture shock (black party dresses?) Conklin creates complicated family relationships with flawed adults and strong children. She describes girls' ch ...more
Ronni Arno
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
COUNTING THYME has everything I love in a middle-grade novel... an authentic voice and a story with heart. Melanie Conklin shows us Thyme's every-day life, which all middle-schoolers can relate to. School. Friends. Family. Boys. But she also adds extra depth and insight as Thyme not only has to deal with a cross-country move, but also the reason behind the move--her little brother's cancer. As I read this book, Thyme, her family, friends, and neighbors became quite real to me, and I was anxiousl ...more
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so blessed to have been able to read this book. It touched my heart in so many ways. I laughed, I cried (a lot), and I was so sad to read the last page, because that meant it was over. This story has so many layers that build on each other as the story progresses. And the characters are quirky and lovable, from Mrs. Ravelli to Mr. Lipinsky and everyone in between. I love the concept of time that's carried throughout and culminates in a scene that left me sobbing at the end.

This book doesn't
Clare Lund
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this honest and heartfelt story about moving to a new place and coping with a sibling's illness. It was an important reminder of how much chronic medical conditions can affect all family members. Recommended for ages 9 and up. ...more
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Melanie Conklin is the author of Counting Thyme and Every Missing Piece. Melanie grew up in North Carolina and worked as a product designer before she began her writing career. When she’s not writing, Melanie spends her time doodling and dreaming up new ways to be creative. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

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“purple in the dog food” 1 likes
“Once people knew about the cancer, I wouldn't be able to stop them from talking about Val every time they saw me. And then I would stop being me, because my time was something I could only buy at home.” 1 likes
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