Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Thanks to Atheneum for providing me with a free digital review copy of this book.
Summary: Sutton loves programming and spends all her spare time trying to perfect her mini-bot. She lives with her dad; her parents are divorced and her mom is a scientist who spends a lot of time in Antarctica. Luis dreams of adventure; his multiple allergies often get in the way of living out his dreams, so he creates fantasy stories instead. He lives with his mom since his dad died when he was two. When Sutton’s dad and Luis’s mom start dating, the two kids want their parents to be happy but struggle to find common ground. After a disappointing first date-with-kids, the four decide to go on a hike together. When Sutton and Luis get separated from their parents, they have to combine their talents to find their way back to the parking lot. Each one comes to admire and respect the other one’s traits that seemed so alien at first, and a happy ending is inevitable…both for the hike and the foreseeable future. 224 pages; grades 3-7.
Pros: This book reminded me of Erin Entrada Kelly’s You Go First and Hello, Universe, with quirky characters struggling for connection and trying to find their way in the world. Sutton seems to have something along the lines of Asperger’s or a processing disorder that makes it difficult for her to socialize sometimes, despite her desire to do so and to please her dad. Many readers will empathize and connect with both characters, and will also enjoy a chuckle at their unique ways of solving problems.
Cons: Since much of the action is internal, I found this book a little slow going at the beginning.