Author: Julie Mathison
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
First Published: August 4, 2020
Length: 152 pages
Melanie is a smart and imaginative 5th-grader and the new kid at school. Melanie leans on her precocious and confident friend, Sabrina, to help her know just what to say to mean-girl Karen, find the courage to audition for a school play, and ultimately face the reality of her mother’s disappearance.
Read my full review and rating on Goodreads.
Eleven-year-old Melanie knows she’s special. She’s never been bored. She understands the secret language of old houses and makes jewels out of broken glass. Her imagination can do anything — except make friends. It’s 1980, and life as a fifth grader at Buckminster Experimental School is lonely at best, when she’s not dodging Karen, the school bully. Then, Melanie meets Sabrina, who looks like a TV star and acts like a spy, and who doesn’t care what anyone thinks. She teaches Melanie how to believe in herself, and soon Melanie starts living her dreams. She even lands the lead in Peter Pan!
If only she could share it all with Mom. Missing her mom is like trying to breathe with one lung. It’s bad. Sabrina thinks they can track her down, and Melanie wants to believe, but sometimes it’s easier to pretend. Her new life feels like a house of cards, until one day it all comes crashing down and she finds herself with no choice but to face the truth… and let go.
This quirky, heartfelt middle-grade novel about grief and the resilience of the human spirit will keep you guessing until the end.