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Jules Machias, author of Indie Next List Pick Both Can Be True, delivers another inspiring story about how an unexpected friendship transforms the lives of two middle schoolers.
Avery Hart lives for the thrill and speed of her dirt bike and the pounding thump of her drum kit. But after she’s diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a disease that affects her joints, Avery splits her time between endless physical therapy and worrying that her fun and independence are over for good.
Sarah Bell is familiar with worry, too. For months, she’s been having intense panic attacks. No matter how much she pours her anxiety into making art, she can’t seem to get a grip on it, and she’s starting to wonder if she’ll be this way forever.
Just as both girls are reaching peak fear about what their futures hold, their present takes a terrifying turn when their school is seemingly attacked by gunmen. Though they later learn it was an active shooter drill, the traumatic experience bonds the girls together in a friendship that will change the way they view their perceived weaknesses—and help them find strength, and more, in each other.
Jules Machiasis an author, editor, artist, and athlete who loves dogs beyond all reason. Both Can Be True is inspired by their combined passions for rescuing animals and breaking down society’s gender norms to create a more inclusive world. Jules has worked at a veterinarian office, a construction company, a car-parts warehouse, and a middle school for kids with disabilities. They now own and operate an editing and proofreading business for clients in publishing and marketing. Jules lives in Cincinnati with their family and three rescue dogs: the world’s happiest pit bull, a sweet Chihuahua with congestive heart failure, and a paralyzed terrier with a whole lot of sass. To learn more about Jules and their dogs, visit www.jules-machias.com.
"Honest and timely. Machias incorporates a variety of tough issues, including class disparities, political divides, racism, and ableism. The effect is occasionally overwhelming—much like real life—but ultimately hopeful." — Kirkus Reviews
"In addition to navigating [characters'] mental health struggles and physical disabilit[ies], Machias thoughtfully portrays characters who are cis and trans, gay and straight, and from different religious and racial backgrounds. This is a recommendation for readers who enjoyed Sharon Draper's Out of My Mind." — Booklist
"Arresting. This affecting story empathetically explores challenges of living with chronic pain and anxiety, offering hope and moments of hard-won joy." — Publishers Weekly
"This is a unique, fast-paced novel with a lot to appreciate. A solid, character-driven choice for libraries that tackles tough topics with skill and nuance." — School Library Journal