Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Summary: Ellie is in sixth grade, and having cerebral palsy makes middle school extra tough. She has to have an aide who helps her at lunch and going to the bathroom, which, of course, is extremely embarrassing for a 12-year-old. When her grandfather’s dementia starts getting worse, Ellie’s mom decides they’re going on an extended visit to help both the grandparents. Ellie’s nervous about being the new kid, but is delighted to make two new friends–the first real friends her age she’s ever had. The big pie contest at her grandparents’ church helps her to focus on her love of baking, and many of the chapters begin with a letter she’s written to a different chef. After several months at her grandparents’, Ellie decides she needs to find a way to convince her mother that they’ve found a new home…for keeps. 246 pages; grades 4-7.
Pros: A protagonist in a wheelchair isn’t common in children’s literature, and Ellie is refreshingly honest about the difficulties she faces. She’s not a quitter, though, and throughout the book is exploring who she is and where her talents lie. Readers can use this book as both a mirror and a window, as they will undoubtedly connect to many aspects of Ellie’s life while learning what it’s like to live with cerebral palsy.
Cons: The last chapter skipped ahead a couple months and wrapped things up a little too quickly.