The Simple Things

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More About This Title The Simple Things


A heartfelt story told with affection and humor about a shy boy who doesn't quite fit in and his elderly Aunt Lola

10-year-old Stephen has never met his great aunt Lola, and he doesn't want to. She sends him money twice a year and he always write back. But Lola is almost 80—what will they have to talk about? When Stephen and his mom arrive at Lola's house, Stephen discovers she's grumpy, scary, and really, really old. He wants to turn around and go home, but his mom says they have to stay until Lola's birthday, which is still three weeks away! But Stephen's trip doesn't turn out as bad as he anticipates. He ends up learning about the simple things in life, like fishing and climbing trees—and about the importance of family. Soon after his arrival Lola entrusts Stephen with a great secret, and he realizes that Lola has become more important to him that just an aunt who send him money—she's now a friend. 


Bill Condon spent several years as a journalist and now writes full-time for children. He is the winner of the Australian Prime Minster's Literary Award in 2010 for his YA fiction novel Confessions of a Liar, Thief and Failed Sex God. Beth Norling is an illustrator.