When Caroline's little brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a young child himself.

In the aftermath, Caroline can't help but wonder what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate for a friend, he can't see Caroline without experiencing a resurgence of traumatic memories. But after the media circus surrounding the kidnappings departs from their small Texas town, both Caroline and Ethan find that they each need a friend--and their best option just might be each other.


Afterward is a brave story about the transcendent power of friendship, told with remarkable grace.
— Ava Dellaira, author of Love Letters to the Dead

Heartbreaking and heart mending, Afterward is a beautifully crafted novel that shows the power of hope and the resilience of one incredible boy and the people who care about him.
— Christa Desir, author of Bleed Like Me and Fault Line

Afterward is a perceptive depiction of recovery from a trauma most of us have only read about in the news. Fans of Jennifer Mathieu’s earlier books should be ecstatic: this is her best one yet.
— Cammie McGovern, author of Say What You Will and A Step Toward Falling

A thoughtfully rendered story of the healing power of friendship in the wake of trauma, Afterward is equal parts hopeful, moving, and nuanced.
— Julie Murphy, New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin' and Side Effects May Vary

Each character is portrayed with an aching sincerity...
— School Library Journal, starred review

A sensitive and surprisingly accessible exploration...
— Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, starred review