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Eleven-year-old Clara is known as the "girl who draws," but she's not tortured enough to become a real artist. Her only suffering, besides embarrassment over her real name Clarity Kartoffel, German for Clarity Potato is a crippling inability to speak in public. When Clara and her oldest friend, Orion break their neighbor's glass gazing ball, Clara decides that in order to suffer like a true artist, she will do every hard thing in her path . . . starting with knocking on scary old Mr. Vogelman's door. That's when she meets "Birdman." That’s when she sees his swirling painting. And that's when everything changes. To pay for the broken glass ball, Clara begins working for Birdman in his atelier. He challenges her to throw away her eraser and draw what she sees, not what she wants to see. But as Clara discovers, seeing, really seeing is hard. Almost as difficult as befriending the new girl at school, or navigating awkward feelings for Orion or finding the courage to speak in front of the entire class. But little does Clara know, the biggest challenges are yet to come. To cope with tragedy, she will have to do more than be brave. As Birdman teaches her, she will have to "bring the hope."
For ages 9-14.
About the Author: Lisa Gerlits is a writer, muralist, and children's art teacher. She graduated with honors from Lewis and Clark College with a degree in English, where she published short stories, wrote and produced plays, and won an Academy of American Poets prize. She spent ten years traveling and volunteering before settling down in Silverton, Oregon, with her family.