Picture of author.

Audrey Couloumbis

Author of Getting Near to Baby

11+ Works 2,275 Members 67 Reviews

About the Author

Audrey Couloumbis was born in Illinois. She currently lives in Queens, NY, and upstate with her husband. This is her first children's book.

Includes the names: Audrey Coulombus, Couloumbis Audrey

Image credit: Scholastic


Works by Audrey Couloumbis

Getting Near to Baby (1999) 854 copies
Jake (2010) 262 copies
Say Yes (2001) 103 copies
War Games (2009) 98 copies
Maude March on the Run! (2007) 87 copies
Not Exactly a Love Story (2012) 87 copies
Summer's End (2005) 60 copies
Love Me Tender (2008) 58 copies
Lexie (2011) 49 copies
Just Before Daybreak (1987) 6 copies

Associated Works

Twice Told: Original Stories Inspired by Original Artwork (2006) — Contributor — 111 copies


adventure (52) ARC (10) aunts (13) award (13) chapter book (26) children (12) children's (18) children's fiction (18) Christmas (10) death (44) divorce (12) family (64) fiction (116) frontier (12) girls (12) grade 5 (14) grade 6 (14) Grade 7 (10) grief (35) historical (16) historical fiction (76) humor (23) J Fiction (9) Junior Fiction (11) juvenile (13) juvenile fiction (17) loss (17) Newbery (23) Newbery Honor (56) orphans (36) outlaws (32) realistic fiction (46) siblings (24) sisters (50) to-read (34) western (40) wild west (24) WWII (10) YA (27) young adult (35)

Common Knowledge

Illinois, USA



Live through World War II with several young boys as their games of war become reality when the battles approach their home in Greece.
NCSS | 6 other reviews | Jul 23, 2021 |
After their baby sister dies, Willa Jo and Little Sister are staying with their fussy aunt and bemused uncle for the summer while their mother tries to put her life back together. There is much friction in the arrangement, as Willa Jo resists her aunt's demands that everyone follow her strict regime, including never straying from the plastic runners on the carpet and never playing with the not-respectable children (read: they dare to play outside in such a way that gets their clothes dirty) across the street. And for her part, Aunt Patty can't understand why her nieces aren't grateful for all the help she's offering them and their mother. It's a mess that culminates in the sisters climbing up onto the roof early one morning to watch the sunset and then refusing to come down.

Not all middle grade books that take on the subject of death in childhood succeed, but this one does a pretty good job. It's a serious and sad topic, but it's handled fairly gently here and the young characters are given believable reactions to it. In fact, all of the characters are nicely drawn; the aunt is just the right amount of annoying without being irredeemable, the neighbor kiddos are a delight, and the uncle is the perfect laid-back foil to his uptight wife. I also like the choice to frame the entire narrative with the detail of the girls hosting an inadvertent sit-in on the roof. The only part that irks me is a small section in which the mother talks to Willa Jo about how the baby is now in heaven with the angels and will possibly get wings herself. Blech. The saving grace there is that it seems clear it's the character spouting these notions and not the author.
… (more)
electrascaife | 12 other reviews | Jul 3, 2021 |
Willa Jo and Little Sister go to live with their keeping-up-appearances Aunt Polly for a while after Baby (their little sister) dies, and their mother has trouble coping. The girls have trouble with Aunt Polly, who is always concerned about what people will think, and Polly has trouble with the girls, who are used to doing their own thing.
In the last third of the book, the girls begin to come to terms with the death of Baby, and Aunt Polly begins to soften a little.
Beautifully written
fingerpost | 12 other reviews | Apr 21, 2017 |
This story of two orphaned sister, after the death of the guardian aunt, set out on stolen horses to find their uncle "out west" is entertaining and touching. Through their wild adventures, the sisters provide a little glimpse of life in the Midwest in the 1800s. The characters are developed and well drawn. There is a little violence, including at least three violent deaths in the course of the novel. They are intrinsic to the plot and the characters are shocked and surprised by the violence, however.… (more)
kaitanya64 | 16 other reviews | Jan 3, 2017 |



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