This is one of my favorite middle grade books in a long time. It reminds me of E.L. Konigsburg’s A View from Saturday. It deals with heartbreaking, crushing difficulties in such a lovely, loving way that I found myself feeling uplifted rather than bogged down in the darkness of it all.
The story centers around three unlikely friends, brought together by an art class, each dealing with their own challenges. Oscar, a star football player, has just lost is beloved sister to cancer. After a traumatic experience at work, Ellie’s single mom has moved them from the big city to her childhood hometown. And Noah, who has been homeschooled his whole life, is dealing with the transition to a traditional school during his parents’ messy divorce.
As the three become friends, they learn to help and support each other. And they learn that in real life, some broken things cannot be mended. This beautiful, affirming book is perfect for middle grade, but will be enjoyed by readers (and listeners–it’s a great read-aloud) of all ages.
–Christy, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA