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Far Away

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  306 ratings  ·  77 reviews
A book about life, loss, and the secrets families keep, reminiscent of Sharon Creech’s Walk Two Moons, by National Book Award nominee Lisa Graff.

CJ lives and travels with her Aunt Nic, a famous psychic medium who tours the country communicating with her audience’s deceased loved ones at sold-out theaters. Together, they give people closure and forgiveness, and pass
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Philomel Books
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Happy Birthday, CJ. I’m so glad you shared the story of how everything you thought you knew unraveled, starting on your birthday. At first I was impressed by your unusual savvy for handling the business end of your aunt’s shows. What just-turning-12-year-old can navigate cross country with nothing but an atlas? For that matter, how many 12 year olds still know what an atlas is? But your complete disregard for learning other, shall we say more traditional subjects disappointed me. I’m with Jax on ...more
Full of heart, humor, twists, turns, and relatable questions about what (and whom) we believe. This book made me think, laugh, feel, and keep turning the pages!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-releases
Caraway June (CJ) Ames lives with her Aunt Nic, a psychic medium who communicates with the dead and constantly travel across the country. CJ was told her mother passed away when CJ was a baby and CJ's mother is able to talk through Aunt Nic. CJ befriends Jax Degaldo, her friend Oscar's nephew. I enjoyed reading how CJ teaches 16-year-old Jax how to drive stick despite her being only 12-years-old. CJ and Jax form a friendship bond and they go on a cross country road trip to find a tether to CJ's ...more
Melanie  Brinkman
Where will Spirit guide you?

CJ lives and travels with her Aunt Nic, a famous psychic medium who tours the country's sold out theaters communicating with the audiences' loved ones. While CJ doesn't share her aunt's abilities, she enjoys playing a role in connecting others with their dearly departed, as she knows all too well how they feel. But when a magician shows up, bent on proving Aunt Nic a fraud, CJ learns an impossible family truth. Stuck with the secrets, CJ must grapple with all the lies
Phil Jensen
Jul 15, 2019 marked it as notes-on-unfinished-books
notes on the prologue & ch. 1

Perhaps I'm just not the right person for this book. There was something about the protagonist's voice that pushed cleverness so hard that it took me out of the story. It felt like Lisa Graff was constantly nudging me in the ribs and saying, "See how clever I can be?"

Also, it really helps if you, the reader, are at least somewhat interested in mediums/spiritualists. I'm not into that topic, so it just kind of annoyed me. Three are some hints that the medium might
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something I think Lisa Graff does really well is introduce magical realism, explain nine tenths of it away, and then walk away without explaining the rest so you're sitting there going there IS magic, maybe? yes?
Because that's how life is sometimes, so why not reflect that in fiction.
Anyway, this is a beautiful portrayal of grief, the importance of being honest, family in a way you didn't expect, and what anxiety looks like - all without ever becoming too bogged down or
Leah Grover
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maggie Stiefvater meets Lindsay Eagar. I adored the friendship between twelve-year-old CJ and sixteen-year-old Jax. A perfect encapsulation of the moment when a child begins to question her (or his) faith—existentially, and in the adults around them.
Very sweet and original story. Lisa Graff is so good with this kind of heart felt family story shot through with difficult truths that kids have to face.

And the subject of mediums being defrauded by magicians also happens to be a favorite interest of mine ! So extra points for that.
Janet Hutchinson
As always, Graff writes a novel that, while, plot wise, seems a little improbable, is totally relatable when it comes to relationships, and the complete challenge of being 12 and so unsure and uncomfortable with life.
Ms. Yingling
Feb 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Copy received from the publisher

Did not meet the needs of my collection at this time.
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another thoughtful, beautifully written book by Graff. She always gives me something to ponder and never disappoints me. Loved this tender story. Highly recommended!
Suzanne Dix
Just when it gets all too unbelievable that twelve year old CJ fully believes that her aunt is a medium (despite so many contradictory clues), the story really grabs the reader with its honest look at family dysfunction. I really enjoyed this story and look forward to meeting the author in April at our school visit.
Melanie Dulaney
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fans of Lisa Graff’s earlier works will be pleased, but may not actually cry or release a sigh of happy contentment when closing the book as with Thing About Georgie, Tangle of Knots, or Absolutely Almost. In Far Away, main character CJ lives with her aunt, a successful medium who takes her show on the road with the help of her niece and small crew. CJ’s mom is dead, but with Aunt Nic’s unique skill set, she is able to communicate with her regularly. Life is rolling along swimmingly until Jax, ...more
LitPick Book Reviews
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
CJ Ames lives with her Aunt Nic who works as a psychic medium. The two of them are always traveling from place to place so that Aunt Nic can communicate messages from the dead to members of her audience. Aunt Nic also relays messages from CJ’s mother, who died after giving birth to CJ.

But on CJ’s 12th birthday, Aunt Nic announces that she is sending CJ to boarding school after signing a deal to get her own TV show. She also says that her mother’s spirit has gone “far away.” This means that they
Van (Short & Sweet Reviews)
Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

Far Away by Graff is a heart-warming story about a young girl in search of answers about her mother and the power of belief and determination.

Caraway June ‘CJ’ has never met her mother, but she talks to her all the time. How you may wonder? Well, her aunt is a psychic medium that communicates with spirits.As long as CJ can remember she has always been surrounded by spirits; on the road with her aunt going
I thought this was a sweet book and as CJ got swept away, I was hoping this girl’s journey wouldn’t end in a disaster.

I enjoyed the idea that CJ (12) and her aunt contacted CJ’s mother’s on CJ’s birthday. As a medium, CJ’s aunt had the ability to connect with her and CJ looked forward to celebrating her birthday with her mother. Unfortunately, the day arrives when her mother informs them that she can no longer visit them.

After traveling on the road with her aunt for years doing shows, her aunt
Laura Gardner
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
/5 for Far Away by Lisa Graff, one of my favorite #mglit authors.

CJ is turning 12 on the road with her Aunt Nic, a psychic medium who tours around connecting people with their deceased loved ones. CJ lives her life by the Spirit and loves talking to her own deceased loved one through Aunt Nic, her mother. On her birthday, however, Aunt Nic springs disturbing news on CJ: her mother has gone to the Far Away so CJ won't be able to talk to her anymore. She and her new friend Jax set off on an
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Far Away by Lisa Graff, 266 pages. Philomel (Penguin), 2019 $17

Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.



CJ has an unusual life. She lives on the road with her Aunt Nic, who makes her living as a psychic medium –contacting spirits for their loved ones. CJ loves her life and especially her Aunt’s ability, which allows CJ’s dead mother to talk to her. When her mother ends their communication and says goodbye, CJ is determined to
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-years, 2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Many thanks to Edelweiss Plus and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.

Actual rating: 4.5/5

I highly enjoyed this book. I have not read Graff's other works, but we do have them in our collection. After this one, I think I am going to make a point this week to pick them up and highlight them in some of my upcoming book talks. I am excited to add this wonderful MG, realistic fiction/road trip story to my collection.

CJ has always traveled with
Valerie McEnroe
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade, mystery
"This world would be a much better place if we were all purely rational creatures, but we're not. We're emotional. So we go along believing whatever suits us, until that belief runs us smack into a brick wall, and then we face the truth." Loved this quote. It comes near the end, but it perfectly sums up the author's point. The book's a little unsettling. Very much about death, which isn't a theme the average kid gravitates toward. I do like the cover, which may help sell it.

CJ's aunt is a
Susan  Dunn
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: j-fiction
CJ's aunt is a medium. She talks to the dead, and can channel messages from "Spirit" back to their loved ones who are still living. It's an amazing talent, and Aunt Nic has comforted many people over the years. CJ has always lived with Aunt Nic, since her mother died shortly after she was born. Aunt Nic can tell her stories about her mom's life, but even better, she can actually channel CJ's mom. So even though her mother has passed, CJ has spent her childhood having regular conversations with ...more
Libby Ames
CJ loves her unique life. She lives in a tour bus and travels the United States with her Aunt Nic’s psychic medium show. When CJ gets lonely for her mother who died shortly after she was born, she can talk to her through Aunt Nic. When Aunt Nic warns CJ she will no longer be able to communicate with her mother, CJ goes searching for a tether--something to tie her mother’s soul to the earth. CJ heads out on a road trip that digs deeper into her family’s past. However, the secrets CJ uncovers ...more
Melody Kenney
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Graff has a great command of the rising and falling action in fiction for children, making this book a real page turner that I think kids will really like. I have to admit that I wasn't convinced when I began the book, but by the end of the story I really liked it.

The characters are imperfect and real but I found that I grew to like CJ and Jax. CJ's desire to hear from her dead mom through her Aunt Nic, a medium, is understandable and sweet. And when CJ finds that her aunt has been telling her
What do you do when you find out the reality you have lived in is just one lie after another? Caraway June (CJ) has lived with her aunt the entire 12 years of her life. They travel around the country doing shows where her Aunt Nic, who is a psychic, gives messages to people from family members or friends who have died. She even has the ability to give CJ messages from her mother who died shortly after she was born. When Aunt Nic can't channel her mother anymore, CJ sets off to find a tether to ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was quite good. I enjoyed it. The writing was very intriguing and the plot was fast-paced. I loved how Lisa Graff explored the lengths we go to protect those we love and the power secrets have to change our worlds. She is a great raconteur. I really enjoyed CJ's character. I found her to be a realistic example of a twelve-year-old.
However, I wouldn't say that this was Lisa Graff's best book because that position still belongs to Lost In The Sun. But I definitely wouldn't say that this
Katie Reilley
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author and Penguin Kids for sharing an ARC with our #bookexpedition group.

Recently turned twelve Caraway June (CJ) is being raised by her aunt Nic, a famous medium who travels the country connecting the living with their lost loved ones. Aunt Nic is also the connection between CJ and her mom through relayed messages from “everywhere and nowhere all at once.”

When it seems that her mom will “move” to the Far Away and Aunt Nic will no longer be able to reach her, CJ embarks on a
Laura Sibson
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to read an ARC of Lisa Graff's soon-to-be-released middle grade and I was spellbound. Graff has a particular talent for weaving a magical sensibility into even her most grounded stories and this one is no exception. CJ is a just-turned-12 year old that the reader can root for. Raised by her aunt, who is a famous medium, CJ never doubts the messages that her aunt relays from CJ's dead mother. But when it appears that she will lose that precious connection, CJ sets out to find a ...more
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, 2019
I've really liked Graff's other books: The Great Treehouse War, Absolutely Almost, and The Thing About Georgie. One of the things I'm coming to admire about her is that each of these books is so different. Literally the only thing I would say they have in common is that she writes convincingly about a child and his or her feelings. But settings and plots are so different that you get the feeling she is (as I hope most writers would be) having fun making up stories!

I really enjoyed the twists and
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Lisa Graff is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots, as well as Lost in the Sun, Absolutely Almost, Double Dog Dare, Umbrella Summer, The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower, The Thing About Georgie and Sophie Simon Solves Them All. Originally from California, she lived for many years in New York City and now makes her home just ...more
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