Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rosa Mira Books is linking arms with Makaro Press

New dance steps: Rosa Mira Books is linking arms with Makaro Press to bring you the digital version of The Book of Hat, named runner-up this week in the Ashton Wylie Book Awards.

"This is the real The Fault In our Stars" — Auckland Libraries

At 17, Harriet Rowland — known as Hat — learned she had osteosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that began in her knee. At the time she was a student at Queen Margaret College in Wellington, New Zealand.

Going through treatment was often a lonely time, as friends — while supportive — didn’t always understand Hat’s new life. This was until she fell in love with the character Hazel Grace from John Green’s novel The Fault in Our Stars, a girl who talks honestly and openly about living with cancer. Like her, Hat found life changed in ways that were both good and bad: falling in love and hospital stays among them. And she was surprised by how much happiness there was still to find.

Throughout her journey, Hat kept a blog called My Experience of Walking the Dog, and this book is a collection of those posts edited with the author. Why the blog title? Her parents say cancer is like a dog — fine if it stays in its own yard. Hat’s dog got out. This is her unexpected story.

Rosa Mira Books is delighted to join with
Mākaro Press in presenting the ebook version of Harriet’s story which, just this week won second place in the Ashton Wylie Book Awards (sandwiched between NZ’s famed Lloyd Geering and Joy Cowley). 

From its sell-out launch in February this year,  The Book of Hat hardcopy went on to become a surprise hit in NZ. With $1 from each sale going to CanTeen, the blue book with a hat made of stars on the cover was bought by students and grandparents alike, and made its way into CanTeen gift packs, hospices, adult book groups, school libraries and classrooms. A surprising burst of internet sales saw it fly off as far as Moscow, Prague and Wisconsin. —Mākaro press release

Along with heartache, an irrepressible joie de vivre and love spill from the pages Harriet wrote and her circle of influence goes on on widening. She would have turned 21 today.

The Book of Hat, the ebook, can be purchased here.

“Her writing is funny and truthful and wise, exactly like the Harriet we got to meet when she visited the set last year.” Peter Jackson, filmmaker

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