Pre-Order Betty Culley's THE NAME SHE GAVE ME

Print: A Bookstore is proud to be working with Maine author Betty Culley in support of her forthcoming young adult novel, The Name She Gave Me. All copies will be signed by the author and can be personalized—make sure to include your request in the checkout section!

Headshot of Betty Culley

A heartbreakingly beautiful novel in verse about adoption, family, friendship, and love in all its many forms, perfect for fans of Robin Benway and Jandy Nelson, from the acclaimed author of Three Things I Know Are True.

Rynn was born with a hole in her heart—literally. Although it was fixed long ago, she still feels an emptiness there when she wonders about her birth family.

As her relationship with her adoptive mother fractures, Rynn finally decides she needs to know more about the rest of her family. Her search starts with a name, the only thing she has from her birth mother, and she quickly learns that she has a younger sister living in foster care in a nearby town. But if Rynn reconnects with her biological sister, it may drive her adoptive family apart for good.

This powerful story uncovers both beautiful and heartbreaking truths and explores how challenging, yet healing, family can be.

Betty Culley is the acclaimed author of the middle-grade novel Down to Earth, which received a starred review from Booklist who called it “captivating,” and the YA novel in verse, Three Things I Know Are True, which was a Kids’ Indie Next List Top Ten Pick and an ALA- YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee. When writing The Natural Genius of Ants, she kept an ant farm and cared for a carpenter ant queen. She’s worked as a pediatric nurse and lives in a small town in central Maine. For more information, visit

Advanced Praise for The Name She Gave Me

"Wistful verse highlights small but telling moments throughout Rynn’s search... The author’s lived history with foster care and adoption gives the narrative nuance and authority. Emotionally complex and empathetic characters and a faithfully depicted rural landscape form an exemplary backdrop for this contemplative novel."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Told in spare, evocative verseThe Name She Gave Me is a love letter to anyone finding their way home. Betty Culley’s characters have worked their way into my heart and will stay with me long after finishing their beautiful story.”
— Joy McCullough, New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-longlisted author of Blood Water Paint

"Variously scarred by past addiction, poverty, bad health, and bad luck, the well-drawn characters... largely prove resilient and kind. An adoptee herself, Culley writes with insight and nuance about biological families and those formed in other ways. The direct, straightforward poems effectively flesh out the characterization and are accessible to reluctant readers. Compassionate and compelling." — Kirkus Reviews

The Name She Gave Me By Betty Culley Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063157835
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: HarperTeen - June 21st, 2022