By Dar Williams
Gr. 5-8. "In many ways, I'd grown up with 5 parents," says 11-year-old Amalee, who spends each Friday night together with her unmarried dad and his 4 "big, goofy friends" from collage. Amalee has struggled to navigate a middle-school social scene that's ruled by means of suggest women, and while her father contracts a life-threatening disorder, she unearths her insecurities ballooning uncontrolled. It's her father's kin of pals who carry every little thing jointly and support Amalee observe her personal energy, forgive the imperfections in herself and her relations, and shape real friendships. Williams, top often called a singer and songwriter, writes a poignant, humorous debut choked with utterly endearing characters. Amalee's attractive first-person voice sounds a piece too clever in locations, yet Williams writes a few preteen's emotional existence with piercing honesty, fairly the paralyzing worry a parent's disorder brings and the ache and guilt of error. Readers might be charmed via Williams' eccentric, cute characters and her sharp observations concerning the international of either middle-schoolers and adults. -Gillian Engberg
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