About Karen S. Chow
Karen S. Chow started writing novels when she was a college sophomore at Arizona State University, where she earned a degree in electrical engineering. Now she is an engineer by day and a middle-grade novelist by night. She lives in Gilbert, Arizona, with her family.
Amie’s voice first came to me with that opening line, “Ba-ba always told me I was a miracle,” and it hasn’t changed during the many revisions. A lot of other parts of the book have changed, but with that line, I knew Amie was an 11-year-old, Asian-American musician who had a passion for playing the violin. She had an extremely close relationship with her father, but a tenuous relationship with her mother. She loses her purpose in life when her father dies.
And then, I had to ask myself, “What comes next?” The first drafts had Amie trying everything new (tennis, Girls on the Run, video games, baking, composing, etc.) and making new friends (Bella was originally a new friend). But there was still something missing.
Through direction from Christy Ottaviano, my editor, I changed the themes of the book, and everything clicked. Amie still has her journey of recovery, but now there is a parallel idea that as she loses her father, she loses her ability to play violin. She also develops a better relationship with her mom, and her friends are more key components in helping her heal from grief.
I think this concept of focusing on the relationships that already exist (after a loved one passes) is so authentic (thank you, Christy!). We’ve all experienced loss, especially in the past couple of years, and I hope this book will remind readers to love the people who are their biggest supporters.
Ba‐ba always told me I was a miracle.
Because, technically, I was. His doctor had said it was impossible for him and Mom to have children due to his cancer treatments. I wasn’t supposed to exist. He was never supposed to meet me.
Most of the time, I felt like a miracle because I could figure out Ba‐ba’s mood and help him feel better. But sometimes I had a deep‐down feeling that Ba‐ba was the actual miracle… Sure, his body battled an infection on top of his cancer. Sure, his cancer had been winning for the last four days. But he was always bold, fighting for what he wanted even while sick. He was brave, facing his treatments and disappointments.
He was hopeful for the very best.
He was the real miracle, and I was simply his praise song.
Cover art by Olga Lee
Authors Karen S. Chow
Target Audience Middle Grade
Publication Date March 28th 2023 by Christy Ottaviano Books
Find It On Goodreads ● Changing Hands ● Amazon ● Chapters ● Barnes & Noble ● IndieBound
When her father dies, Amie’s ability to play music dies, too. Nothing short of a miracle can bring back what she has lost.
Amie has spent her life perfectly in tune with Ba-ba, her father — she plays the violin, his favorite instrument; she loves all his favorite foods, even if he can’t eat them during his cancer treatments; and they talk about books, including Amie’s favorite series, Harry Potter. But after Ba-ba dies, Amie feels distanced from everyone close to her, like her mother and her best friends, Rio and Bella. More devastating still, she loses her ability to play the violin – the notes that used to flow freely are now stilted and sharp. Will Amie ever find her way back to the music she once loved?
With hope and harmony lighting the way — and with help from the people who care about her most — Amie must find the strength to carry on. In the end, she’ll learn that healing, while painful, can be its own miraculous song.