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The Things We Miss

The Things We Miss
May 7, 2024

J.P. Green is not enjoying seventh grade. A bully won’t stop offering her diet advice, her mom keeps trying to turn her into someone she's not, and her Pop Pop’s lung cancer is back. So when J.P. discovers a mysterious door in her neighbor’s treehouse, she doesn’t hesitate before walking through. The door sends her three days forward in time.


Suddenly, J.P. can skip all the worst parts of seventh grade: fitness tests in P.E., oral book reports, awkward conversations with her mom, and no one even knows she was gone. But when J.P. starts skipping things she can't miss, she must decide whether the highs in life are worth the lows and what it means to show up for the people you love—and yourself.

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"Stecher’s speculative, heartrending debut eloquently portrays the joys and sorrows of being in seventh grade—and the importance of remaining present... Stecher doesn’t hold back, utilizing tear-jerking prose to portray devastating events throughout J.P.’s life, the harsh consequences that skipping them reaps, and the catharsis that facing her fears affords."

Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The Things We Miss is an evocative, affecting time-travel novel that vividly confronts the struggles of grief... This thoughtful, heart-wrenching speculative novel is a poignant reminder that life has 'lots of uphills so you can enjoy the downhills afterwards.'"

Shelf Awareness, starred review

"Debut author Stecher’s characters feel natural, lovable, and whole; the tensions that arise between J.P. and her mom and J.P. and Kevin are believable and relatable. Readers will come away understanding the hard-won lesson that life is best experienced in its entirety... A powerful story about the joy and pain of growing up."

Kirkus Reviews

"The book is unapologetically body-positive, highlighting both micro- and macro-aggressions and different ways to confront them... When J.P. finally learns that people don’t change unless you make them, she stands up for and to herself, resulting in a heartwarming (and heartbreaking) story you won’t want to skip through."


"In the resonant novel The Things We Miss, a girl learns that running away doesn’t solve problems, and that being present is an act of love."

Foreword Reviews

Praise for The Things We Miss

"Magical and heartbreaking! You will read this book in one gulp."

Jennifer L. Holm, New York Times-bestselling author of The Fourteenth Goldfish

"THE THINGS WE MISS is a remarkable book. It has big questions, hard truths, and powerful magic...and it's also a great story. It is a book that will make you think, a book that will make you feel, a book that will make you cheer, a book that will make you cry, a book that will keep you turning the pages. Do not miss THE THINGS WE MISS."

Dan Gemeinhart, New York Times-bestselling author of The Midnight Children

“Balancing deeply authentic day-to-day moments with an element of unexpected magic, Leah Stecher offers a thoughtful meditation on how we must choose to live fully in a difficult world, even when it hurts us. This is a book about how friendship binds us to ourselves and reality, and why we fight for it.”

Laurel Snyder, author of Orphan Island and My Jasper June

"An achingly relatable blend of inexplicable magic and the all-too-real heartbreaks of the everyday world. Complex characters, an engaging storyline, and an authentic dive into the tragedies and triumphs of middle school and family life make this one a must-read."

Monica Roe, author of Air

“An emotionally resonant story that deftly blends fantasy and reality. Readers will see themselves in the smart, likable protagonist as she learns to embrace all experiences, even the most challenging.”

Barbara Dee, author of Maybe He Just Likes You and Unstuck

“A poignant excavation of grief, love, and the messy complications of friendship. No one should miss this gem of a book.”

Megan E. Freeman, author of Alone

"An enchanting, heartbreaking, and magical look at how the choices we make impact not just how we live, but who we are."

Chris Baron, author of The Magical Imperfect and All of Me

“Stecher's magical debut is a reminder to be present, even when life's challenges seem insurmountable. A stunning middle grade novel with memorable characters who take readers on a journey to self love, acceptance, and healing. I loved everything about this story!”

María José Fitzgerald, author of Turtles of the Midnight Moon

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