Smith huffs and puffs and blows the roof off his first novel. 

. . . If this novel were normal, fans would be disappointed. Give it to readers who wish Bridge to Terabithia had been written by Polly Horvath.  Bravo, Lane Smith!

— Cindy Dobrez



Two-time Caldecott Honoree Smith, in his first novel, does an impeccable job of introducing heartbreak while keeping the mood light. Augie is a good-hearted kid whose wry humor makes him a companionable narrator. Readers may feel as disoriented as Augie when Smith shifts from recognizable ground to add an otherworldly dimension, but it works because Augie deserves an ending that makes him whole again.

Publishers Weekly                           


The award-bedizened illustrator offers up his first novel ...Great fun, with hardly a trope or theme left unspun.

Kirkus Reviews

INDIE NEXT Summer 2015 list

L.A. TIMES Summer Recommended Reading List

AMAZON Editors' Picks for Summer Reading: Ages 9-12

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Best Summer Books 2015

The incomparable Lane Smith stomps triumphantly into the middle school playground with his first novel ... I won’t spoil the plot — it’s too good — but I’ll say that intimations of werewolf possession are all the more arresting when told in tones of schoolboy snark.

Gregory Maguire in The New York Times Book Review

Like the late comic master, Terry Pratchett, Smith knows how to make profound points lightly as he holds a funhouse mirror to the larger world.

The Washington Post

It may be that "we live in a weird, weird world," as Augie Hobble tells us, but there's a whole lot in Return to Augie Hobble that seems very normal to us all:  bullies and unexpected friends, school humiliations and unexpected triumphs, loss and unexpected recovery.  You'll cheer for this novel, but not because so much in this world of ours is so weird.  It'll be because so much in this world is so possible.

Newbery Honor author Gary Schmidt                                      

Lane Smith’s Return to Augie Hobble had me cracking up from the first smokin’ scene. I was turning pages so fast they nearly caught on fire. I only slowed down when captured by his evil genius illustrations which show off the range of his pencil brilliance. Boys will be twisted up with ‘Lane on the brain’ after reading this wild ride.

Newbery Medalist Jack Gantos 

This unusual, ultimately exultant story is tinged with the supernatural and heartbreaking at its core.

The Wall Street Journal

A comedic romp. . . . Thrilling.

Raleigh News & Observer

READ the nice feature on Lane and Augie in The Wall Street Journal.

READ an article on the making of Augie by Sue Corbett in Publishers Weekly.


© 2016 Lane Smith

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