The Fire, the Water, and Maudie McGinn


Author: Sally J. Pla


*Signed Bookplate*

From the acclaimed author of The Someday Birds, this contemporary middle grade novel—that Elana K. Arnold called “gorgeous and bighearted”—follows neurodivergent Maudie during the remarkable summer with her dad that might give her the courage to share the terrible secret about life with her mom.

Maudie McGinn lives for the summers she spends in California with her dad, but this year, she’s shouldering the weight of a big secret, one that her mom warned her never to tell. As much as Maudie wants to confide in her dad, she’s scared to.

When a wildfire strikes, Maudie and her dad are forced to evacuate his cabin in the woods. They head to the small beach town where her dad grew up. Every morning, from their camper, Maudie can see surfers bobbing in the water. Maudie quickly realizes she wants to learn, but how could she ever be brave or cool enough to surf?

As Maudie navigates unfamiliar waters, she makes new friends, and her autism no longer feels like a big deal. But her secret is still threatening to sink her. Will Maudie be able to reveal the awful truth about life with her mom and stepdad before the summer is over?