Love Letter

23 Jun

When you love some one or some thing or some place, it can be difficult to express or even understand the depth of your emotions.

When you love the intangible, something more abstract and conceptual, it can be nearly impossible to convey. 

Some sing about it, others paint or sculpt or dance, but many of us feel the need to tell a story.

The Island of Beyond is my 288-page love letter to childhood summers in Maine, and as an author…

nothing is more rewarding than hearing from a reader (no matter their age) who sends a love letter back: 

“Hi Elizabeth, I had picked up a copy of The Island of Beyond at last year’s Book Expo America. I just read it and was totally moved. What a beautiful story you have so masterfully written. I am 66 and recently retired from [a major publishing company]. I was writer/producer of the Author Videos. One of the main rewards I came away with was that young adult novels can be enjoyed at any age. Occasionally I am rewarded with a major gem. As a gay man in a 37 year relationship I could identify with BEYOND in many ways. No one has ever captured the honesty and pureness of a young boy’s coming-of-age heart as you have with Martin. He has his confusion without a paralyzing fear. He has strength to continue developing into whoever he will become. If I had this book as a young reader, it would have contributed so much to my early development. Thank-you for a powerful, important, entertaining and memorable gem of a book. I hope it finds itself into the many young readers’ hands who will benefit from the day of opening.
Take care, Larry”

And what a delightful surprise to receive cheers from these 5th graders in Pennsylvania!




This summer, I’m looking forward to connecting with many more readers around the world, starting with my favorite place: Maine! I hope you can join me at one of Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop & Cafe’s six bookstores in July…

And check out my calendar here for more upcoming events!


Awarded National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) 2017 Notable Children’s Book!

2017 Maine Literary Award finalist!

Selected by the New York Public Library as one of the Best Books for Kids and Teens in 2016!

A favorite book of the year on the Island Writers and Readers 2016 Holiday Book List

Chosen for Curious City BESTIES 2016 List!

“I was riveted by this book. I didn’t want to put it down for fear of losing time with Martin.” (The Lit Pub)

“If you read only one middle grade novel this year, make it The Island of Beyond.” (Kid Lit Reviews)

“This is a real page-turner with lots of character questions raised to keep readers interested. Highly recommended for mid to late primary.” (Children’s Book Council of Australia)

“[The] deeper meaning of this novel is profound, and it deserves a place in modern children’s literature.” (South Africa:

“The timeless quest for love and acceptance will resonate with all readers… Quietly powerful.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Order from an independent bookstore HERE

or from Amazon HERE

10 Replies to “Love Letter

  1. What a sweet letter from Larry! This book is can be loved by anyone at any age, and it’s about all kinds of love.

    • Larry’s letter made my month! As someone who has spent his whole career in publishing, I was so touched Larry took the time to read BEYOND and to write me this wonderful note. We corresponded back and forth a few times, and he was quick to add that this book is for every child and shouldn’t be categorized, but I have heard from LGBTQ teen/YA readers who have said how much the story resonated with their childhood and family dynamic. And teachers keep telling me there is a great need for novels that explore boys’ emotions and friendships. I am most thrilled to hear from middle school boys (and many grown-up boys) who love the story, and the bond between Martin and Solo… and then ask if BEYOND is real place they can visit 🙂

  2. This book is a fabulous read for both young adults and adults(!) for many reasons, not the least is witnessing the pureness of Martin and the laugh-out-loud humor. I LOVE the video – spontaneous enthusiasm from 5th graders is glowing praise indeed!

  3. It must be so gratifying to be able to reach people’s souls! Thanks for writing such an amazing book! Your writing has given hope to our young people who are struggling with their place in this crazy and mixed up world.

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