Cover image for Skyscraping : a novel / Cordelia Jensen.
Skyscraping : a novel / Cordelia Jensen.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), ©2015.

Physical Description:
347 pages ; 22 cm
In 1993 in New York City, high school senior Mira uncovers many secrets, including that her father has a male lover.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
JEN Book Teen Collection

On Order



A heartrending, bold novel in verse about family, identity, andaforgiveness Mira is just beginning her senior year of high school when she discovers her father with his male lover. Her world-and everything she thought she knew about her family-is shattered instantly. Unable to comprehend the lies, betrayal, and secrets that-unbeknownst to Mira-have come to define and keep intact her family's existence, Mira distances herself from her sister and closest friends as a means of coping. But her father's sexual orientation isn't all he's kept hidden. A shocking health scare brings to light his battle with HIV. As Mira struggles to make sense of the many fractures in her family's fabric and redefine her wavering sense of self, she must find a way to reconnect with her dad-while there is still time. Told in raw, exposed free verse,a Skyscrapinga reminds usathat there is no one way to be a family. a Praise for SKYSCRAPING- * "Exquisite free-verse poems...illuminating and deeply felt." - Booklist *STARRED* a oThis book should be popular with fans of Sarah Dessen and would be a worthy addition to most high school library collections.o - VOYA a a "Jensen's spare free-verse poems and accessible imagery realistically portray the fraught moments of adolescent identity formation with great empathy. Compelling snapshots of contemporary family drama and the AIDS epidemic as captured through a teen's eyes." - Kirkus Reviews a "Written in straightforward, accessible free verse tinged with celestial metaphors, this story--set in a well-rendered 1993 NYC--is sincere, touching, and heartwrenching."a -Horn Book a "It left me speechless.a Skyscrapinga is like a regular book with wings."- Becky Albertalli , author of National Book Award finalista Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda a "In gorgeous poetic verse, Jensen captures the raw emotions and hard truths of a family dealing with forgiveness and love.... Your heart will soar and break and heal anew."- An Na , author of Printz Award winner and National Book Award finalista A Step from Heaven a "a Skyscrapinga is brilliant, sharp and bright. A stellar story. Jensen has written a powerful tale about love and loss, a story that will stick with readers long after they've reached the end. Her poetry is vivid, tangible, and visceral. She's a rising star with a breathtaking debut. This is a novel made of star stuff."- Skila Brown , author ofa Caminara

Author Notes

Cordelia Jensen was Poet Laureate of Perry County, PA in 2006 and 2007.aShe holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches creative writing in Philadelphia, where she lives with her husband and children. Follow her on Twitter @cordeliajensen.

Reviews 1

Horn Book Review

When Mira discovers a distressing fact about her parents' marriage, it drives her into a rebellious senior year. Then a health crisis forces her to reevaluate how she feels about her father and her unconventional family. Written in straightforward, accessible free verse tinged with celestial metaphors, this story--set in a well-rendered 1993 NYC--is sincere, touching, and heartwrenching. (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



A UNIVERSE AWAY I drop my backpack. Run. Don't wait for the elevator. Chase the stairs down, like a slide. Run past Jimmy, out onto Riverside. I make it to the water. Yell at a boat on the Hudson, beg it to take me away, under a bridge, out to the ocean, vast and wide, beg someone to make me blind, take me out of this shady city, to a country, a continent, a universe away from here. BLURRED My eyes blur, I don't know what I've just seen. My legs shake, the earth has shifted. Excerpted from Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.