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Sensitive, thoughtful story of growing up
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021
Newbery Medal winner Rebecca Stead writes books that are rich with ideas and acknowledge her readers’ intelligence and intuition. Eight-year-old Bea is the central character in her latest novel, and, typically, there’s lots going on in her life. She divides her time between her mother’s and father’s homes following their divorce and visits a therapist who helps with her anxieties. The story culminates in her father’s wedding to his new partner, Jesse. As ever, we move back and forth in time, and discover much about Bea’s inner life as well as her daily routine in New York. Relationships with family and friends propel the story and there are some real shocks and surprises for readers, plus a gradual understanding of the things that will never change for Bea. It’s beautifully written, a thoughtful, sensitive account of growing up and growing resilience and trust.
Sonia and I have a lot in common. Our parents are divorced. Our dads are gay. We both love barbecue potato chips. But she is different from me in at least one way: you can't tell how she's feeling just by looking at her. At all.
When Bea's dad and his wonderful partner, Jesse, decide to marry, it looks as if Bea's biggest wish is coming true: she's finally (finally!) going to have a sister. They're both ten. They're both in fifth grade.
Though they've never met, Bea knows that she and Sonia will be perfect sisters. Just like sisters anywhere, Bea thinks. But as the wedding day approaches, Bea makes discoveries that lead her to a possibly disastrous choice.
Making a new family brings questions, surprises, and joy in this brilliant modern classic by Newbery Medalist Rebecca Stead.
In addition to our Lovereading4Kids expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
I liked this book because of the way it was written to gradually drew you in more and more until you were completely enthralled. Full review
I have been a huge fan of Rebecca's writing since When You Reach Me, so it's no surprise that her newest book is an absolute original; marvelous, lovely, a story that kids will love. - R. J. Palacio, bestselling author of Wonder
No author writing today observes young lives with more clarity, tenderness, and grace than the one and only Rebecca Stead. - Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestselling author
This is a story of love that enlarges, even though it is not always easy. We cheer for and are cheered by Bea's quiet triumphs because they are triumphs of the heart. - Gary D. Schmidt
Stead is one of my very favourite writers, capturing that moment on the cusp between childhood and adolescence with great clarity. -- Fiona Noble - The Bookseller
Rebecca Stead's writing is always infused with the tender minutiae of being alive, with the price we have to pay to be human. This book, along with its perfect title, is 'Typical Rebecca Stead.' And that's a heartfelt compliment. - Christopher Paul Curtis
From the moon, the wedding, and the cake, to Bea's mind, Rebecca has captured everything so completely, so beautifully. Truly a wonderful work. - Patricia Reilly Giff
My love for this book is something that will never change. Bea, with all her flaws and charms, will find her way into readers' hearts, just as she did mine. Stead truly understands the inner life of kids, very much like Judy Blume-which I consider the highest compliment. - Erin Entrada Kelly
A wise view of divorce ... I would strongly recommend - The Times
Excellent ... Stead's characters are recognisable kids of flesh and blood ... and her resolutions manage to be both unsaccharine and heartening - Observer
[A] beautifully constructed, deceptively simple story - Guardian
Funny, bold and poignant - Daily Mail
Bea's interactions with her loving community convey particularly well-drawn dynamics that support themes of building resilience and savoring joy; together, these insightful moments layer into an affecting story of significant middle grade change (starred review) - Publishers Weekly
|Publication date:||1st April 2021|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 9+ readers|
|Genres:||Family / Home Stories, Personal Social Health Economic , Divorce, Family Issues|
|Recommendations:||Reviewed by Children|
|Collections:||30 Kids Books about Changing Families, Separation and Divorce,|
Rebecca Stead is an American author who writes books for children and young adults. She won the 2010 Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to children's literature for her second novel, When You Reach Me.Stead enjoyed writing as a child, but as she grew older she felt it was 'impractical' and became a lawyer instead. After years as a public defender she returned to writing after the birth of her two children. On her website she credits her son with inspiring her to write a children's novel, but not in the way one would expect. For years she had ...More About Rebecca Stead