Published by Penguin Workshop
Summary: Abby’s off to a rough start in fourth grade when her cousin and best friend Zoe moves away and stops answering Abby’s letters. Not only that, but her dad’s lost his job, her mom’s gone back to work, and Abby’s stuck in an after-school running program that she’s sure she’s going to hate. When she starts noticing some changes going on with her body, she misses Zoe more than ever, and has to steel herself for some awkward conversations with her mom and doctor. Abby’s awareness of the larger world grows, too, as she learns about homelessness in her community and finds a surprising way to make a difference. Standing up for herself and communicating about what she needs lead Abby to learn to survive and even flourish with all that’s changing in her life. 208 pages; grades 3-6.
Pros: A fun series starter that will be perfect for kids in the second half of elementary school. Megan E. Bryant has a light touch and writes about puberty with a Judy Blume-esque flair. As I’ve said before, there aren’t enough middle grade books that feature fourth graders, and this one is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers.
Cons: Given the intended audience for this book, I was surprised there weren’t illustrations.