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|Counting to perfect|
Author: LaFleur, Suzanne M.
Ignored by her parents since her "perfect" older sister, Julia, had a baby, Cassie, twelve, foregoes her summer plans to join Julia and baby Addie on a road trip.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.60
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 198092
Kirkus Reviews (08/01/18)
School Library Journal (06/01/18)
Booklist (+) (09/01/18)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2018 Gr 5–7—Twelve-year-old Cassie Applegate's world revolved around her family and her swim team, until her sister Julia gave birth to a little girl, Addie, in the middle of her senior year of high school. Now her parents are so occupied with Julia and the baby, they scarcely seem to notice Cassie and rarely come to her swim meets. She also misses the closeness she shared with Julia before Addie was born. When Julia tells Cassie she and Addie are leaving, and invites her to come along, Cassie reluctantly agrees, assuming it will be a short road trip. But once on the road, Julia seems to have no particular destination in mind, and no intention of returning home. Cassie finds herself torn between the adventure and camaraderie of traveling with her big sister, and her love for her parents and friends back home. Lyrically written with compelling characters, this heartfelt novel explores the complexity of sibling relationships. Cassie's account of her road trip with Julia is interspersed with memories of their life together before Addie was born, and the confusing, frightening months after Julia announced she was pregnant. Although the parents' acceptance of two teenaged girls taking an unplanned trip with an infant seems to come a bit too easily, the characters' emotions are believable and beautifully described, and the relationship between the sisters is touching. The author also wonderfully captures Cassie's love of swimming. VERDICT This warm and expressive contemporary novel will appeal to middle grade fans of realistic fiction.—Ashley Larsen, Pacifica Libraries, CA - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2018 *Starred Review* Nothing’s been the same in the Applegate house since Cassie’s big sister, Julia, told her parents she was pregnant. Cassie never imagined becoming an aunt at 12, and as much as she loves her niece, Addie, she can’t ignore all the ways her life has changed. But when Julia invites her to hit the road, just the two of them and Addie, Cassie goes along with the plan. Though they say they’re just gone for the day, it quickly becomes clear to Cassie that Julia has other plans. But they can’t stay gone for too long . . . right? LaFleur’s latest is a quietly profound exploration of how a massive change in a family feels for the person most removed from it. She exquisitely captures all of the small ways this cleaving in her family has affected Cassie—from her parents doing whatever possible to help Julia graduate high school to all the new ways she feels so apart from her sister’s life-changing experience. Anyone who’s ever had a cataclysmic event rock their family will find a mirror in this moving story. Though some readers may have trouble suspending disbelief when the parents don’t go after the girls, despite being able to track them through their phones, many others will be too emotionally invested in Cassie and Julia’s plight to quibble. For anyone who’s ever felt invisible. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.