A refreshingly honest exploration of family and friendship.

HONESTLY ELLIOTT

A sixth grader’s ADHD exacerbates the loss of his best friend, stress of entering a new school, fear of disappointing his father, and anxiety over a new sibling.

“Always-late, homework-forgetting, not-many-friends, extra-disorganized” Elliott lives with his positive, supportive mother in their comfortable, welcoming home but spends weekends with his focused, organized father and stepmother in their perfectly redecorated house. Since the recent departure of his best friend, Elliott’s ADHD has caused him to nearly fail the first semester of middle school, overreact to his stepmother’s pregnancy, upset his father with “The Incident,” and start seeing a therapist. Elliott, however, loves cooking, an activity during which he’s focused, confident, decisive, and calm. Rejected by the kids he eats lunch with when it’s time to work together on a group project to develop and implement a business plan, Elliott unexpectedly ends up paired with Maribel, the smartest girl in class. When Maribel reveals she has celiac disease and Elliott explains his ADHD, they develop a delicious, gluten-free pie recipe—and their friendship blooms. Over time, Elliott applies his culinary skills, opens up about his fears, bonds with his stepmother, and connects with his father. In a droll, engaging, self-effacing, and disarmingly open voice, Elliott narrates his story, providing realistic, firsthand insights into living with ADHD. Elliott and his family read as White; Maribel is cued as Latinx, and names signal ethnic diversity in the supporting cast.

A refreshingly honest exploration of family and friendship. (recipes) (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0625-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit...

NUMBER THE STARS

The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabble Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction—a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943.

Five years younger than Lisa in Carol Matas' Lisa's War (1989), Annemarie Johansen has, at 10, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events—but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors.

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1989

ISBN: 0547577095

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

Did you like this book?

Entrancing and uplifting.

STAY

A small dog, the elderly woman who owns him, and a homeless girl come together to create a tale of serendipity.

Piper, almost 12, her parents, and her younger brother are at the bottom of a long slide toward homelessness. Finally in a family shelter, Piper finds that her newfound safety gives her the opportunity to reach out to someone who needs help even more. Jewel, mentally ill, lives in the park with her dog, Baby. Unwilling to leave her pet, and forbidden to enter the shelter with him, she struggles with the winter weather. Ree, also homeless and with a large dog, helps when she can, but after Jewel gets sick and is hospitalized, Baby’s taken to the animal shelter, and Ree can’t manage the complex issues alone. It’s Piper, using her best investigative skills, who figures out Jewel’s backstory. Still, she needs all the help of the shelter Firefly Girls troop that she joins to achieve her accomplishment: to raise enough money to provide Jewel and Baby with a secure, hopeful future and, maybe, with their kindness, to inspire a happier story for Ree. Told in the authentic alternating voices of loving child and loyal dog, this tale could easily slump into a syrupy melodrama, but Pyron lets her well-drawn characters earn their believable happy ending, step by challenging step, by reaching out and working together. Piper, her family, and Jewel present white; Pyron uses hair and naming convention, respectively, to cue Ree as black and Piper’s friend Gabriela as Latinx.

Entrancing and uplifting. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-283922-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

more