Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 29, 2021

Book Giveaway: WAY PAST SAD by Hallee Adelmann

Author Hallee Adelman’s latest picture books, Way Past Sad and Way Past Jealous, launched April 1st! She has agreed to share a giveaway for one lucky winner: a signed copy of Way Past Sad with fun book swag! All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. If you Re-blog, Tweet, Post on Instagram, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and the hashtag #waypastsad, you will get additional chances to win. Let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reblogging and writing a review on Goodreads or Amazon, really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping to support children’s books and kind authors like Hallee!


James is sad. Way past sad. His best friend, Sanj, is moving away. James feels all alone, and even hugs from Mom don’t take away all his sad. But it helps to talk about it. Nothing can change the fact that Sanj is moving, but will James and Sanj always be sad? Or is there a way to get past it?


Way Past Sad started when I was in sixth grade. At the time, my mom was about to get remarried, and I found out that we’d be moving away–away from neighbors that I’d played wire ball with every day, away from our park with the twisty slide, and away from my best friend, Melanie London. Would we still talk every single day? Would we still sing Hey Mickey, read Sassy Magazine, and share secrets over bowls of Crunch Berries cereal? Would we still see each other?

When writing Way Past Sad, I not only channeled these questions and feelings, but I also called Melanie. Like James in the book, Melanie had stayed in our hometown after my move. Her insights were important. She shared that she wanted to be alone after my move. I learned about her worry that our friends would not like her anymore. The conversation with Melanie allowed me to deepen James’ emotions, understand his perspective, and develop images in my mind.



I started picturing a child alone in a boat or on an island, feeling the void of a once-shared ship. I thought a lot about how sadness, rather than being constant, would come and go, like waves. Telescopes came to mind with a strong question: Can kids see past sad?

With feelings and images swirling, I started to see James and Sanj. Like a movie, I imagined moments: James finding out that his best friend Sanj was moving, James alone in his room, the friends huddled close on a final boat ride together. I envisioned James drawing his sad mood like “a sinking ship in deep dark blues.” Since I like to linger on my characters’ reactions, I thought about kids I know well, like my daughter and her best friend from kindergarten. I considered how they would react in the moments I had put on the page. Would James’ and Sanj’s reactions be similar? Different?

Of course, books get better with a team. After Moe Ferrara at BookEnds makes everything happen, and the story is on the page, I share the work my trusted writing group. With Way Past Sad and Way Past Jealous in particular, I credit the brilliant Eileen Ruvane for asking the “just right questions” to help me refine the stories. Editor, Wendy McClure, is sharp and amazing. Her team shares thoughts, and we have a good back and forth before she sends the story to copyediting. Sandra de la Prada set the perfect tone for the series with her powerful illustrations. For Way Past Sad, the amazing Albert Whitman design team and Karen Wall ran with these illustrations, really connecting with the imagery of the boats, while bringing James and Sanj to life.

With all of the books I write, I want kids to feel cared about, understood, and a little more empowered. I try to do this by creating honest portraits. I avoid having my main characters get past hard feelings with a quick snap of a finger. I want kids to see characters sitting with the feelings, masking them, stumbling with them, expressing them, challenging them, and ultimately, managing them. The feelings do not have to disappear. When I think back to moving away, I remember those sad feelings. But I also remember my move: figuring out how to build new friendships; getting adjusted to a different school, town, and family dynamic; and finding ways to connect with Melanie, who to this day, is still one of my most trusted friends. Thankfully, we could both experience our sadness and also see past it.

Way Past Sad and Way Past Jealous launched this April 1st as part of The Great Big Feelings Series. Two more titles in the series are headed your way in 2022!!


I’m so honored to be sharing on Kathy’s blog. Her work as former Regional Advisor of the NJSCBWI, allowed me and other writers life-changing experiences.  I couldn’t think of a more perfect place or person to blog-launch my books with. I admire her heart and work for others.  LOVE YOU, KATHY!!


Hallee Adelman writes small books about big feelings. Titles include My Quiet Ship and The Great Big Feelings Series with books like Way Past Mad and the Kirkus starred, Way Past Jealous. With a PhD in education, Hallee has taught elementary through university students. Random facts: When not writing, Hallee works on documentary films and serves organizations that benefit kids, families, and storytellers. She lives near Philadelphia, PA with her family. Visit her online at

Insta: @waypastbooks Twitter: @halleeadelman

For activities, videos and more visit:

For more about Hallee and her work visit:

For more Albert Whitman titles visit:

For more about Moe Ferrara and BookEnds Literary visit



Karen Wall is a freelance illustrator and designer. She is the the illustrator of Way Past Sad and Way Past Jealous. She has illustrated many picture books including the award winning Stripy Horse series (with husband Jim). Her books have been co-editioned in many countries around the world including America, Italy, Spain, Canada, Brazil, China, Portugal, Japan and Indonesia.

‘Who are you, Stripy Horse?’ won the Dundee Picture Book Award and was a Practical Parenting Pre School Awards Silver Medal Winner. ‘Letterbox Lil’ won the Sheffield Children’s Book Award.

Karen studied printed textile design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee.  She worked for over ten years as a designer and design manager before turning freelance in 2005. She has since worked on a diverse range of projects from textile, packaging and ceramic design to toys and greetings cards.

She lives in South East London with her husband Jim and their daughter.

For more about Karen, visit:

Please get in touch via Facebook or by emailing

Clients include: Simon & Schuster, Egmont, Oxford University Press, Space NK, Whittard of Chelsea, Marks and Spencer, WH Smith, and Rayware Group.

Thank you Hallee for sharing your book and journey with us. This a great addition to your picture book series of great big feelings. Everyone gets sad, so I hope this is a big step towards helping young children cope with that feeling and maybe put them on the road to worrying less later in life. I love all of Karen’s illustrations, but I especially love the illustration of James letting his emotions while drawing and coloring the sinking ship. She did a great job bringing your story to life. Good Luck with the book!

Check back: We will be featuring WAY PAST JEALOUS in May.

PS: I love you, too, Hallee!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Congratulations, Hallee! Thank you so much for writing these books. I’m sure they will help many kids learn to handle their emotions and difficult situations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I love writing these for kids and I’m honored to help them on their journey to learning about big feelings! Love your books, Robin!!! And I won’t call you Fuzzybutt!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There should be a LOVE button. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww. Thank you so much, Susan! Appreciate you reading Kathy’s blog and commenting on my post. Way past happy. 🙂


  3. Hallee, you really capture the universal emotions that thread through all of our lives with a realistic dignity. Looking forward to sharing these books with the young readers in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joyce,
      That is so touching. I really try to make kids feel understood and to show the layers of emotions. I’m so grateful for your post and thrilled that you’ll share the books with the little ones you care about!


  4. This book is full of heart and such a gentle read about navigating difficult feelings. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Danielle! I so appreciate all of your support. Thanks for reading and sharing the books! H


  5. Way Past Sad will hit home with so many readers. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! I so appreciate your comment. I love working for kids! ❤️❤️❤️


  6. Thank you for sharing the backstory for a book that I’m sure will help lots of children. Also, thank you Kathy for introducing us to this lovely book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda, thanks for reading the post and sharing this comment! It is always a pleasure and honor to write something for Kathy’s awesome blog. Thanks for your interest in the book!!


  7. Hallee’s books are amazing. Great work, Hallee and Karen! Congrats on the this book!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marci! Thanks so much! It’s always great to see your name. I appreciate your note and the time you took to read the blog and books! ❤️


  8. I am so glad to see this post about an important new book, Way Past Sad. I grew up in a highly mobile military family and my childhood was punctuated by sad good-byes. I would have loved to have stories like this to process my sad. Way Past Sad is a great companion title to my own Button and Bundle, the story of two girl best friends who must say their own good-byes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Gretchen, thanks so much for your sweet post. I look forward to reading your book, Button and Bundle. The name is so sweet. ❤️


  9. This sounds like two more important books in your series, Hallee. Congratulations! I shared this post on Twitter.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Darlene, your support always means so much. Thanks for sharing this on Twitter, too! Really grateful. ❤️


  10. Such a sweet looking new book, I’d love to have a copy!
    I’ve tweeted:, and shared:
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks! Have a safe and happy day!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Carl,
      Thanks for sharing all around and for taking your time to read the post!! Fingers crossed. Can’t wait to get Kathy’s “out of the hat” draw on this!


  11. Such very important subjects. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jill, thanks for reading and commenting! Really appreciate your note!


  12. Hallee is an inspiration and her books truly help young readers navigate through their BIG feelings to find joy and peace again. I love all of her books!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha,
      I love YOUR books too and can’t wait to celebrate their releases with you one day on Kathy’s blog and beyond. ❤️❤️❤️😘😘😘


  13. Congratulations on these two wonderful books, Hallee, and thank you for sharing the story of how they came to be. I love Albert Whitman books too! Can’t wait to read these. (I also follow W&I by email.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christy,
      Great to see you here! Hope you are well. Thanks so much for your post. I loved your book Free for You and Me and am thrilled to see your upcoming title, WATER! Thanks for the important stories you put out into the world!


  14. This is such a wonderful series, Hallee! Perfect for young readers/listeners. Congratulations!

    I will tweet this and I follow by email. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angie, thanks so much for warm words about the series. I love writing it. So awesome that you shared this post—thanks. Can’t wait to see who Kathy draws as the winner. Best of luck!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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