by Alison Formento
Publisher: Merit Press/Adams Media, 2013
For ages: 14+

One pint-sized girl. Ten supersized crises. And it’s high noon.

Madeline ‘Twigs’ Henry is a small teen in the shadow of some big problems. Born prematurely, and still so tiny in stature that people think she’s in the fifth grade, Twigs has a mighty spirit. She needs that spirit when life throws a bucket of stones at her. It starts with a drunken deserter dad. Mom and little sister are so obsessed with their own love lives that Twigs has to take care of both of them. Her adored soldier brother Matt is suddenly missing in the Middle East. Just as Twigs is trying to figure out how she can solve everybody’s problems (and find out if her boyfriend is cheating on her after just one week away at school), the flash of a knife slices her life, and Twigs must stand up to a gang of thugs to try to save the person she loves most–the very father who left her all alone.



TWIGS is named one of the fall’s hottest new books:

“In a charming…small-town drama, Madeline ‘Twigs’ Henry navigates family secrets, boyfriend troubles and a friendship with a spirited older woman. The larger-than-life characters and gestures bring humor and action to the story…. Twigs is a compellingly flawed character, and [her] growth is palpable.” – Kirkus Reviews

Twigs is a unique coming-of-age story with a vivid cast of truly unforgettable characters.” – Kieran Scott, author of the He’s So/She’s So trilogy

“I think there are many teens out there who can relate to at least one or more of the life-changing events that Twigs goes through, whether it’s embarking on the scary adventure of going to college or getting used to a new significant other in their parent’s life. I found this book to be entertaining and a great summer read.” – The Real Bookshelves of Room 918

“Twigs was easy to relate to. I think that we have all had a time in our lives when it felt like everything was falling apart…. Twigs was so special in a lot of ways…over all I found the book to be a nice read.” – Daydreamer N’s Reviews

 Reading Guide/Activities

Downloadable discussion guide for TWIGS will be available Autumn 2013 at

Author’s website

About the Author

Alison Ashley Formento is the author of the multi-award-winning picture book series This Tree Counts!, board book This Tree, 1, 2, 3., These Bees Count, These Seas Counts, and forthcoming These Rocks Count! From Booklist for her tree books: Teachers and parents will welcome Formento’s “going green” tale. Her debut young adult novel TWIGS is edited by the New York Times best-selling author Jaquelyn Mitchard. Alison has written for several publications including The New York TimesThe Writer and Parenting. She loves visiting schools and libraries and donates a portion of her book sales to
Author’s website

School Visit Information

Alison loves traveling to schools to meet students. Please see testimonials on her website and contact Alison for detailed information, rates, and scheduling: aforment(at)optonline(dot)net

Alison Formento buzzes into schools with her interactive presentations where students from Pre-K to 8th grade will become human trees, waggle dance like honeybees and discover how trees, bees, and seas count in our world. Alison visits will benefit your students and compliments related curriculum for the following: Environmental themes including, Springtime, Earth Day and Arbor Day, nature discoveries, counting awareness, informative art, writing and idea development.

Specialized workshops offered:

Writing Seeds: Growing creative stories using idea seeds. (3rd grade and up)

Green Counting Fun: Learning math through nature inspired games and activities. Addition, subtraction, and shape building. (Pre-K -3rd grade)