One of our recommended books is Maybe We're Electric by Val Emmich

MAYBE WE’RE ELECTRIC


Tegan Everly is quiet. Known around school simply as the girl with the weird hand, she’s usually only her most outspoken self with her friend Neel, and right now they’re not exactly talking. When Tegan is ambushed by her mom with a truth she can’t face, she flees home in a snowstorm, finding refuge at a forgotten local attraction—the tiny Thomas Edison museum.

She’s not alone for long. In walks Mac Durant. Striking, magnetic, a gifted athlete, Mac Durant is the classmate adored by all. Tegan can’t stand him. Even his name sounds fake. Except the Mac Durant she thinks she knows isn’t the one before her now—this Mac is rattled and asking her for help.

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Tegan Everly is quiet. Known around school simply as the girl with the weird hand, she’s usually only her most outspoken self with her friend Neel, and right now they’re not exactly talking. When Tegan is ambushed by her mom with a truth she can’t face, she flees home in a snowstorm, finding refuge at a forgotten local attraction—the tiny Thomas Edison museum.

She’s not alone for long. In walks Mac Durant. Striking, magnetic, a gifted athlete, Mac Durant is the classmate adored by all. Tegan can’t stand him. Even his name sounds fake. Except the Mac Durant she thinks she knows isn’t the one before her now—this Mac is rattled and asking her for help.

Over one unforgettable night spent consuming antique records and corner-shop provisions, Tegan and Mac cast aside their public personas and family pressures long enough to forge an unexpectedly charged bond and—in the very spot in New Jersey that inspired Edison’s boldest creations—totally reinvent themselves. But could Tegan’s most shameful secret destroy what they’ve built?

Emotionally vivid and endlessly charming, Maybe We’re Electric is an artfully woven meditation on how pain can connect us—we can carry it alone in darkness or share the burden and watch the world light up again.

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  • Poppy/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Hardcover
  • September 2021
  • 288 Pages
  • 9780316535700

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$17.99

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About Val Emmich

Val Emmich is a New York Times bestselling author, singer-songwriter, and actor. His novels include The Reminders and Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel, the adaptation of the hit Broadway show.

Praise

“A poignant, gemlike novel about grief, regret, and loneliness.” ―Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times-bestselling author of Girl In Pieces

“Written with tenderness and heart, this is a book that will light readers up.” ―Abdi Nazemian, author of Stonewall Honor book Like a Love Story

Discussion Questions

1. Why is Tegan quiet? Why is Mac not?

2. Tegan hates being “the girl with the hand.” Why doesn’t she want to put her limb difference on display like others choose to do on social media?

3. Why does Tegan find it easier to speak up on social media? Why does she try on different social media personas? Why do you think she becomes Nightshade?

4. Why does Tegan struggle to give up Nightshade? How does she feel guilty for what she did and also proud of what she achieved?

5. How does Mac’s family’s dynamic change when his brother, James, leaves for college?

6. Why does Mac ask Tegan to make the 911 call at the beginning of the novel?

7. Tegan’s dad gives her the advice of finding space wherever you can. What do you think he means?

8. How can you relate to Mac saying, “It’s like I remember the things I want to forget and forget the things I wish I could remember” (page 118)?

9. Why do you think people like a simple story (page 162)?

10. Neel says, “There’s a difference between joking around and just being plain mean” (page 177). How do people sometimes mask unkindness as a joke?

11. Is Neel a good friend to Tegan? Is Tegan a good friend to Neel?

12. Tegan admits to herself that sometimes she ignores Neel’s advice “not because I don’t agree with it, but because I’m not strong enough to do what’s right” (page 181). What gives her the courage to do what she thinks is right?

13. How is Tegan’s relationship with her mom complicated? What about her relationship with Charlie? What shifts for her with her mom and Charlie?

14. At the end of the novel, Tegan thinks, “I’m scared, but I’m not alone” (page 273). How is Mac also scared but not alone? How about you?

15. How is Thomas Edison the third main character in the story? What do he and the museum symbolize?

16. Would you have forgiven Tegan?

17. Why does being seen matter so much? Do you feel seen? How can you let others know that you truly see them?