Breaking into Sunlight


By John Cochran

Read by Matt Haver

Formats and Prices





  1. Audiobook Download (Unabridged) $24.99
  2. ebook $9.99 $12.99 CAD
  3. Hardcover $17.99 $23.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around June 18, 2024. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

This powerful and compassionate book follows a family’s journey through the turbulence of parental addiction—and the moments of connection and healing that break through the dark days. 

Reese is a seventh-grader in rural North Carolina who loves drawing, basketball, his hardworking mom, and his charming, charismatic dad. But then one day, he comes home to his worst nightmare – his dad on the floor, lips turning blue, overdosed. Again. Reese calls 911 and gets his dad out of danger, and he expects to go on as before. But for his mom, this is the breaking point, and she declares that she and Reese are leaving until Reese’s dad gets real help with his addiction. They move to a rundown trailer outside of town, where Reese is furious with his mom, scared for his dad, and terrified his friends will find out.
Then he meets Meg and Charlie, who have likewise been stranded by circumstances beyond their control. As the trio explores the blackwater river that runs nearby, Reese discovers new beauty and joy in nature and these fresh connections. His dad is also doing better, holding things together, and talking to his mom again. But how long can the good times last? And what will Reese do if — when — they end?

In the United States today, an estimated one in eight kids live with a parent with a substance-abuse problem. Written with bracing honesty, deep sympathy, and tenderness for all its characters, Breaking into Sunlight offers readers a powerful affirmation that no one is alone. 

  • "BREAKING INTO SUNLIGHT is a clear-eyed story of addiction and its terrible aftermath, but one full of sympathy, generosity, and hope. This is a book defiant in its honesty and bursting with heart, wrapped around one of the most authentic thirteen year olds I've read in years."
    Laurel Snyder, author of ORPHAN ISLAND and THE WITCH OF WOODLAND
  • "BREAKING INTO SUNLIGHT is a beautifully written, powerful and sensitive portrayal of addiction’s impact on a family and especially a child. Cochran has written an important book, one that captures the heartache and struggles of kids like Reese during the opioid crisis that decimated America, especially the rural communities Cochran knows so well."
    Katherine Marsh, author of THE NIGHT TOURIST and THE LOST YEAR
  • "This is not a cautionary tale or a sob story, but a shimmering journey, reminding us that life, in all its complexity, can be both enchanting and devastating all at once.”
    Jake Halpern, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and New York Times bestselling author of NIGHTFALL

On Sale
Jun 18, 2024
Hachette Audio

Cochran, John

John Cochran

About the Author

John Cochran grew up in Kansas City and studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He worked as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers in Missouri, Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina before moving to Washington, D.C., to cover Congress for Congressional Quarterly. The National Press Foundation recognized his work with its Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress. He now lives on Capitol Hill with his wife and children. Breaking into Sunlight is his first novel. Visit his website at


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