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Stacey Elza

Author and Hapkidoist


Falling Lessons

When a hurricane destroys 14-year-old Louisa’s home, she must move into her grandmother’s trailer with only her mom and the few belongings they were able to salvage from the wreckage. Her smart glasses—kinda like smart phones from the early 2000s but, you know, glasses—can tell her how to get around her new school and who people are, but what they can’t tell her is how she fits into this strange new town. And that, as some things fall apart, others will fall into place.

Set in the year 2050, Falling Lessons is a story about a girl and her changing dreams. It’s a time when eating grasshoppers is the norm and grandparents enjoy moshing—sorry, what is that?—at their assisted-living facility. Louisa stumbles upon hapkido, a Korean martial art, and Ruby, who makes her heart flutter like the tailfin of a goldfish.

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Falling Lessons is wonderful from the very first sentence. It reminded me of Bridge to TerabithiaSeventeenth Summer, and several Laurie Halse Anderson novels, all of which I personally count as setting a gold standard for

YA fiction. 

—Ann Claycomb, author of Silenced and The Mermaid’s Daughter

Praise & Reviews

It was interesting to see the future through the eyes of Louisa, who battles life’s obstacles beyond her control. Seeing her use the martial art of hapkido to turn those obstacles into opportunities shows how someone can overcome negativity by seeking positivity around them and by always looking for the good in themselves and others.

—Master Laura Beluschak, 7th Degree Black Belt, Hapkido

[E]ach interaction between the characters in Falling Lessons is real and deeply felt. Bringing a wonderful mix of nostalgia and reality for older readers and a sense of normalcy and excitement to the younger, Falling Lessons is a must-read for those who want to feel like
they are right there in the action.

—Jess Branas, Founder/CEO of Branas Enterprises, host of the podcast Drinks with Jess, and author of Seeking
, Knowing You, and Zero to Ninety


Reading Between the Wines

Saturday, April 22, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Frank Sarris Library, Canonsburg, PA


About Stacey Elza

A West Virginia native, Stacey earned her B.A. in English from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., and her M.F.A. in creative writing from West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va. Her writing has appeared in The Lion and the Unicorn, Iron Horse Literary Review, the Unitarian Universalist WorshipWeb Library, and ADDitude Magazine. She has a second-degree black belt in hapkido—a Korean martial art—which she earned at the American Judo-Hapkido Institute. She lives in Morgantown with her husband, two daughters, and two cats.

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