Tell Me Everything

Tell Me Everything

Carolyn Coman

Up until five months ago, Roz, 12, and her mother, Ellie, lived a secluded, spiritual life together in the mountains. When Ellie suddenly dies trying to rescue a lost hiker, Roz moves in with her uncle Mike, a solitary Vietnam veteran. She floats through school—it means nothing to her. Lacking her mother’s religious convictions, the girl struggles to understand death and her feelings of desertion. She is driven to find the boy Ellie lost her life for, and when she does, she demands that he tell her everything he knows about the incident—which turns out to be almost nothing.


  • Ages: 12 up
  • Grades: 6-10
  • Pages: 128

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Recent Reviews

7"A plot so strong that it virtually tells itself, and prose so articulate that a multitude of emotions almost overwhelms the reader.

—Publishers Weekly

"A visceral, immediate novel. … Coman captures perfectly the way Roz's mind moves, the fluidity of her thoughts, the way she takes in and makes sense of things. Her relationship with her uncle grows slowly from a respectful, sensitive avoidance of painful subjects into an easy, natural closeness. His reactions, emotions, and language are as deeply believable as hers. In the end, she accepts that her mother is gone, and that she and Mike love each other. She has been released, and feels the joy of being alive. Through the honest prose, readers will know these characters; they seem to come from dreams and memories.

—School Library Journal

"Tell Me Everything is a remarkable achievement. The telling is very fresh and strong, and all the characters so real you feel you'd recognize them on the street.

—Natalie Babbit

"Carolyn Coman's portrait of Roz Jacoby is extraordinary: cool, balanced, and yet possessed of a powerful momentum that knows its own direction. This is the kind of writing which reveals its own virtues. There are no shortcuts here—no easy answers—and yet how satisfying it is.

—Brock Cole

"Quite simply, I love the book. I loved the child, Roz. I felt that Tell Me Everything went beyond the poetry I always wish to read; it went to the very essence of the child's voice, the child's experience. It is a pleasure to read a work that doesn't sound like an adult writing from a child's point of view. Instead, Carolyn Coman has a true and honest vision of this intelligent and compassionate child. The voice is startlingly honest. Carolyn Coman is a wonderful writer.

—Patricia MacLachlan


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