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“Dear God…and Jesus and Mary…” Even though eleven-year old Olivia is raised Southern Baptist, she likes to cover her bases when asking for a favor. Unlike her brother Oliver, she struggles with keeping her temper in check and staying out of trouble. But Oliver is different, and in the summer of ’72 he proves to Olivia there’s magic in everything. But it’s up to us to see it.

“No matter who we are, what we look like, or where we’re from—that light shines on all of us.”

“Mandy Haynes takes me on a memory journey to the last great childhood of the South, a time when bicycles were a magic carpet that could take a child wherever she wanted to go. The joy of this novella is how easily I slip between the pages and live the adventures with Oliver and Olivia. Sibling love. Kindness. Good intentions gone awry and good deeds fraught with danger. This story echos with my past, and the past of many now homeless Southerners. Once you start reading, you won’t be able to put it down.” Carolyn Haines, USA Today bestseller, is the author of over 80 books in multiple genres

“Mandy Haynes effortlessly and brilliantly writes children, a feat at which many writers struggle and fail. In Oliver, her uniquely, lyrical voice sings the reader smack dab into this heartwarming story inhabited by Oliver and Olivia, a brother and sister whose special bond is symbiotically balanced upon the other’s abilities and perspectives. I dare you to not fall immediately in love with these characters, and fret over them as I did as they make their journey through this poignant summer from long ago.”
Robert Gwaltney, author of The Cicada Tree

“A small-town story of childhood innocence, sibling admiration, blind optimism, and plenty of shenanigans, author Mandy Haynes has penned an incomparable narrator in Sissy, who tells a multifaceted story highlighting the altruistic plans of her remarkable brother, Oliver. The Southern jargon in this charming novella is character defining, the precocious mood insightful. Oliver is about bringing out the goodness in people, even if it takes a bit of magic.”
Claire Fullerton, author of Little Tea

I spent a lot of time looking at kids in my class trying to figure out what was wrong with them because it was clear as spring water, half of them weren’t near as smart as Oliver. Sometimes I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered the same thing.
Maybe we were the ones that had something wrong with us,
and people like Oliver who looked or acted a little bit different were the “normal” ones.

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