Please join us as we celebrate the release of Dayna Lorentz's new middle grade novel, Wayward Creatures with a discussion of restorative justice in real life and fiction. Dayna will be joined in conversation by Rachel Jolly and Kelly Ahrens of the Burlington Community Justice Center. The event will be moderated by Margot Harrison.
Wayward Creatures is a heartfelt animal friendship story, a troubled young boy befriends a wayward coyote after a forest fire changes both of their lives.
Twelve-year-old Gabe doesn’t know where he belongs anymore. His family is caught up in their own lives and his friends barely have time for him now that they’re stars on the soccer team. In a desperate plea for attention to impress his friends after school, Gabe sets off fireworks in the woods near his house and causes a small forest fire that destroys several acres of land. In the chaos of the destruction, a coyote named Rill—tired of her family and longing for adventure—finds herself far from home. Already on animal control’s watch for wandering into a backyard and snapping at a child, Rill crawls into a cave, where she nurses her wounds alone.
Gabe and Rill’s paths irrevocably cross when Gabe is tasked with cleaning up the forest through the court's restorative justice program. The damage to the land and both their lives is beyond what the two can imagine. But together, they discover that sometimes it only takes one friend to find the place where you belong.
Dayna Lorentz is the author of Of a Feather, the Dogs of the Drowned City trilogy, and the No Safety in Numbers trilogy. She has worked in and around the foster care system, most recently as a law clerk in the Vermont family courts, but she only just started exploring the sport of falconry. Dayna lives in Vermont with her husband and two children.
Rachel Jolly is the Assistant Director of the Burlington Community Justice Center. Previously she led extended hiking and canoe trips for teenagers in Maine, taught the natural history of our New England region to youth and adults, developed a program for women transitioning out of incarceration and off of state assistance into the workforce, and coordinated training programs for women interested in jobs in law enforcement, carpentry, electrical work and plumbing.
Kelly Ahrens,Youth Restorative Programs Manager at the Burlington Community Justice Center, has been in the Restorative Practices field since 2009 and has had the opportunity to work at three Community Justice Centers. Her experiences have deepened her understanding of the complex meaning of accountability, how we attend to our collective responsibility to each other, and how the system is not broken but doing exactly as it intended.
Margot Harrison is an award-winning journalist living in Vermont. She is also the author of The Glare and The Killer in Me. Her latest book, We Made It All Up, will be releasing in July 2022.
How to register: Registration is free, but book purchases are welcomed and appreciated--thank you for supporting our author! You must register on this page to attend the event. The event will stream on Zoom. You will receive an email with the Zoom link after registering. If you don't receive a confirmation email after registering today, contact us right away so we can check for problems.
Purchase a signed, personalized copy of Wayward Creatures from our website HERE. Copies will be available a few days after event. If you ordered a book for store pick up, we will contact you as soon as it's ready. If you ordered a book with shipping, please allow an additional 7-10 days for delivery via USPS Media Mail.
If you have signed up for the event and are having difficulty accessing it via Zoom, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org throughout the event & will do our best to provide technical support as needed.