"[A] compelling, suspenseful debut, a tough-love riff on guilt, forgiveness and redemption, asks hard questions to which there are no easy answers"

-Kirkus Reviews


"Armistead shows how much courage it requires for some of us to stop running from who we are."

-The Boston Globe


"Being Henry David is a compelling story about a teenage boy grappling with his identity in the wake of a disaster."

-Teen Reads


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Cal has been a writer since age 9, when she submitted her first book, The Poor Macaroni Named Joany to a publisher. Sadly, this literary gem did not make it to print. But Cal continued pursuing her lifelong passion, and wrote copiously for radio, newspapers and magazines (Cal has been published in The Chicago Tribune, Shape Magazine, Body & Soul Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Chicken Soup for Every Mom’s Soul and others). Although it took years for Cal to try her hand again at fiction writing, her first young adult novel (Being Henry David) was published by Albert Whitman & Co. on March 1, 2013. Cal holds an MFA in creative writing from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine, works at an independent book store, is a voice-over actress, sings semi-professionally, and lives in a Boston suburb with her amazing husband and a dog named Layla.

Cal Armistead, a bookseller for many years, living and working in and around Concord, Massachusetts, presents in her debut Young Adult novel, BEING HENRY DAVID (Albert Whitman; spring 2013), a kid who is like so many others--lost and without direction in a confusing virtual world that further complicates adolescence.

Here’s a novel of a young teen in search of himself. His own moral compass lost somewhere along the way, Hank comes to meet characters of good and bad virtues. From clues and the care of a range of characters in Concord --and from apparitions of folks long gone, including visits from Thoreau himself, Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present, is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, and decide to choose life over death, to stop running, and to find his way home.

Thoreau said, “In wildness is the preservation of the world,” and the Author believes this to be true.   So much in our lives is artificial, she says.   But nature just ‘is.’  It’s good, simple, honest and authentic.   It’s refreshing to escape technological and societal pressures in order to hear one’s true inner voice, and it’s easier to hear it within the quiet simplicity of nature. It is the Author’s hope that BEING HENRY DAVID will help young adults hear this voice within themselves.

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