Newbery-winning Rules meets Counting by 7s in this affecting story of a girl’s devotion to her brother and what it means to be home

When eleven-year-old Thyme Owens’ little brother, Val, is accepted into a new cancer drug trial, it’s just the second chance that he needs. But it also means the Owens family has to move to New York, thousands of miles away from Thyme’s best friend and everything she knows and loves. The island of Manhattan doesn’t exactly inspire new beginnings, but Thyme tries to embrace the change for what it is: temporary.

After Val’s treatment shows real promise and Mr. Owens accepts a full-time position in the city, Thyme has to face the frightening possibility that the move to New York is permanent. Thyme loves her brother, and knows the trial could save his life—she’d give anything for him to be well—but she still wants to go home, although the guilt of not wanting to stay is agonizing. She finds herself even more mixed up when her heart feels the tug of new friends, a first crush, and even a crotchety neighbor and his sweet whistling bird. All Thyme can do is count the minutes, the hours, and days, and hope time can bring both a miracle for Val and a way back home.

With equal parts heart and humor, Melanie Conklin’s debut is a courageous and charming story of love and family—and what it means to be counted.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published on April 12, 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0399173307
ISBN-13: 9780399173301
3 Book Reviews
  • gold3nglare
    gold3nglareWednesday, April 21, 2021 at 12:47 pm55 starsFeatured
    Eleven-year-old Thyme (Time with an "hy") and her family has moved from their home in San Diego, California to the big city. New York City. They had to move so Thyme's little brother, Val, who has nerve cancer, can get into a clinical trial to see if doctors can save his life. Thyme is not happy about this. All she can think about is moving back to the only home she's ever known so she can be back at her old school, old friends, and old home. Thyme comes up with a plan to get back to California. Whenever she uses her free-time to do a chore or a task, she gets a time slip. That time slip is a certain amount of time that Thyme gets to cash out to spend time with her mother, or to hog the iPad all to herself. As the story moves along, as Thyme make more and more friendships, the jar she keep the time slips in gets more and more full, her family situation gets more and more tense, and Val's condition gets more and more worse. Thyme has to make a choice. She can either leave her new friends, parents, and sick little brother to go back to a place that truly has nothing to offer her, or she can stay, and realize that all the home she needs is right in New York City. I give this book 5 stars because it is absolutely excellent. Happy reading!
    • Best book ever Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 11:08 am
      I love this book I have just started reading it and I could not put this book down I love it that much. Thyme and her family moved to the big apple or New York City. because thymes little brother Val has cancer and got the opportunity to do a new cancer treatment in New York. When they move to New York to thyme it’s like starting 6th grade all over again she has to make new friends start a new school and the worst part is she has to do it all over again but this time without her best friend. All thyme wants to do is go home but the only thing she can do into help the fact is count time in her thyme jar and hope for the best. This book has a lot love and heart, and I loved reading this story and hopefully you like it to
      • mocha_dog
        mocha_dogFriday, November 23, 2018 at 9:56 am55 stars
        I read this book for a reading challenge, and I really liked it. Thyme Owen's little brother Val has cancer. When his cancer gets worse, the Owens family moves to New York City for special cancer treatment. Thyme has to start a new school, make new friends, and just wants to move back to her old house. Counting Thyme has lots of heart and courage. I really enjoyed reading this book and I hope you enjoy it too.