|Five things about Ava Andrews|
Author: Dilloway, Margaret
A shy eleven-year-old learns to manage her anxiety through improv classes and discovers her activist voice.
Kirkus Reviews (04/15/20)
School Library Journal (06/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/15/2020 Sixth-grader Ava Andrews is dealing with a difficult cocktail of anxiety and a heart condition called noncompaction cardiomyopathy, both of which become more challenging without the reassurance of her best friend, Zelia. After Zelia moves away, hers and Ava's friendship is put to the test. Meanwhile, Ava is also pushed to try improv, but will these new stressors push Ava beyond her limits? In this #OwnVoices novel, Dilloway (Momotaro: Xander and the Dream Thief, 2017) crafts a narrative for fans of Wendy Mass' A Mango-Shaped Space (2003), where readers can live inside Ava’s anxious thoughts and perhaps recognize themselves in her story. Paired with an activism plot and infused with plenty of creative endeavors and strong familial relationships, Five Things introduces young readers to Ava’s conditions in a safe and cozy context. No doubt an excellent selection for book clubs for children, read-together picks, and for anyone who enjoys a good underdog story, this will be popular with fans of Cece Bell's El Deafo (2014) and Kayla Miller’s Click (2019). - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
Booklist - 04/15/2020 - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2020 Gr 3–6—Dilloway (Summer of a Thousand Pies, Momotaro) returns to middle grade with this hopeful story of invisible disabilities, friendship, and advocating for one's beliefs. Like the author, 11-year-old Ava has non-compaction cardiomyopathy and uses an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) to help manage her condition. Ava is also quite anxious, and she's quiet around everyone but her best friend, who just moved across the country. Ava finds confidence and friendship when she begins taking improv classes, and together the group works to save a favorite locale from gentrification. Along the way, Ava discovers she's not the only one struggling with unseen hurdles, and tender moments reveal what it's like to be on both sides of assumption. Dilloway covers a lot of ground including social justice, mental health, physical ability, and prejudice, but all the while the narrative is hopeful and encouraging. Ava describes herself as having her mother's Japanese features, and a diverse cast is implied through brief descriptions. VERDICT Dilloway's latest provides a valuable perspective on living with a heart condition and anxiety as a tween; many will relate to Ava, even if their own experiences aren't an exact reflection of hers. Ideal for book clubs and discussions, this is recommended as a general purchase.—Taylor Worley, Springfield P.L., OR - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.