“An emotionally honest family story with an ending that’s hopeful without being implausibly upbeat.” -- from Publisher's Weekly, starred review.

“Gewirtz’s emotionally intense debut novel about the complications of families offers a perceptive heroine and poetic, impressive prose.” -- Kirkus

“This spellbinding and psychologically penetrating debut novel from Adina Rishe Gewirtz delves into the dangers underlying the stories we tell ourselves to make life bearable. . . . This is a timeless story of how lies can imprison families; only by facing the truth can they begin to take hold of their lives and begin to heal. Gewirtz wisely leaves aspects of the novel unresolved, so readers may interpret the ending as they see fit. Even her minor characters spring to life, through tactile details like Molly the bubble gum–popping cashier at the Sunshine Grocery. Readers will hope for many more books to come from newcomer Gewirtz.” -- Shelf Awareness

“The tight narrative—laden with symbolism, such as a copy of Treasure Island missing half of its pages, a backdrop of the Iran hostage crisis, and the forest itself—is held together with the strength of the characters. This slight, tense debut novel will interest children looking for suspense or family drama.” -- Booklist

“Driven by suspense and psychological intrigue, Zebra Forest deftly portrays an unfolding standoff of truth against family secrets -- and offers an affecting look at two resourceful, imaginative kids as they react and adapt to the hand they've been dealt.” -- Fictiondb

"This compelling debut bares the stark truth about four vulnerable people and at the same time offers them a more hopeful future. An unforgettable story of the ties that bind.: -- Library Journal


Zebra Forest

When eleven-year-old Annie first started lying to her social worker, she had been taught by an expert: Gran. "If you're going to do something, make sure you do it with excellence," Gran would say. That was when Gran was feeling talkative, and not brooding for days in her room -- as she did after telling Annie and her little brother, Rew, the one thing they knew about their father: that he was killed in a fight with an angry man who was sent away. Annie and Rew spend their days under the birches and oaks of the Zebra Forest, telling stories about their father the pirate, or pilot, or secret agent. But then something shocking happens to unravel all their stories: a rattling at the back door, an escapee from the prison holding them hostage in their own home, four lives that will never be the same.

Selected Works

Business writing
An engaging how-to on business writing.
Young Adult Fiction
Realistic fiction, age 9 and up.