Cover image for Mayday / Karen Harrington.
Mayday / Karen Harrington.
First trade paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Little, Brown and Company, 2018.

Physical Description:
344 pages ; 20 cm
General Note:
"First published in hardcover and ebook by Little, Brown and Company in May 2016" -- T.p. verso.
Twelve-year-old Wayne Kovok loses his uncle to war and his voice to a plane crash in the same year and must learn to speak up as he navigates relationships with his father, grandfather, and new friend, Denny Rosenblatt.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
HAR Paperback Junior Paperback Fiction

On Order



In the tradition of Counting By 7s and The Thing About Jellyfish , a heartwarming coming-of-age story about grief, family, friendship, and the importance of finding your voice

Wayne Kovok lives in a world of After. After his uncle in the army was killed overseas. After Wayne and his mother survived a plane crash while coming back from the funeral. After he lost his voice.

Wayne has always used his love of facts to communicate ("Did you know more people die each year from shaking a vending machine than from shark attacks?"). Without his voice, how will he wow the prettiest girl in school? How will he stand up to his drill-sergeant grandfather? And how will he share his hopes with his deadbeat dad? It's not until Wayne loses his voice completely that he realizes how much he doesn't say.

Filled with Karen Harrington's signature heart and humor, Mayday tackles an unforgettable journey of family and friendship.

Author Notes

Karen Harrington is the author of Sure Signs of Crazy and Courage for Beginners . She lives in Texas with her husband, daughters, and the sweetest rescue dog south of the Red River.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Harrington (Sure Signs of Crazy) again focuses on the young survivor of a horrific situation, crafting a compelling exploration of life after a disaster. The death of Wayne Kovok's uncle, a soldier fighting overseas, feels like enough tragedy for the 12-year-old (previously seen in Courage for Beginners), but after he and his divorced mother survive a plane crash returning from the funeral, new challenges join his grief: the temporary loss of his voice and left eyebrow, replaced by facial bruises, stitches, and a large scar, as well as coping with his dictatorial grandfather, now living with Wayne and his mother. A self-described nerd, Wayne is obsessed with sharing random facts; his voicelessness forces him to rethink his identity and his relationships. Harrington deftly depicts the delicate dance of family and friends trying to handle the aftermath of near tragedy, their efforts further complicated once Wayne uncovers an important secret his grandfather is keeping. Wayne is an appealing protagonist with a strong voice who develops believably over the difficult months, as do the other characters. A well-done book on all levels. Ages 8-12. Agent: Julia Kenny, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Twelve-year-old Wayne Kovok survives a plane crash following the funeral of his beloved soldier uncle killed overseas. Before the accident damaged Wayne's vocal cords, he was a talking encyclopedia, spewing knowledge to impress others; now Wayne must find a new "voice" to deal with his off-center family, middle-school woes, and his own insecurities. A satisfying coming-of-age story carried by Wayne's humorous first-person narrative. (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.