To save an image, right click the thumbnail and choose "Save target as..." or "Save link as..."
Author: Levy, Debbie
When a teenaged girl's babysitting charge is killed in a car accident while in her care, she must come to terms with the aftermath of the tragedy and her community's search for someone to blame.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 162660
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 17.0 Quiz: 65394
Common Core Standards
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Kirkus Reviews (-) (05/15/13)
School Library Journal (09/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/13)
The Hornbook (00/09/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2013 Danielle wasn’t sure she would make a great babysitter, but five-year-old Humphrey was such a cool little kid. Then, after a successful session at the playground, where Danielle teaches Humphrey to throw a football in a perfect spiral, the ball bounces into the street, and Humphrey takes off after it. She remembers seeing a teal-blue minivan and vaguely wondering if that was the car that hit Humphrey, but all details are lost in a haze of grief when Danielle learns Humphrey has been killed. Her feeling of guilt chokes back her words. The community, however, seizes on the accident to promote two political causes: making the road safer and cracking down on illegal immigrants (the driver of the blue minivan turns out to be undocumented). The theme of immigration issues reaches into the plotline from several angles, perhaps stretching credulity. But it does inform readers about the plight of illegal immigrants and, more importantly, their children. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2013 A panic attack at her bat mitzvah shakes Danielle’s confidence to the core, so she foregoes the opportunity to be a camp counselor and chooses the seemingly safer option of babysitting a five-year-old boy named Humphrey for her summer job. She and Humphrey develop a deeply caring friendship that sustains them both until one day, when walking home from the park, Humphrey darts into the road to retrieve a ball and is struck and killed by a car. The narrative starts with the incident and charts its aftermath, alternating between present circumstances and Danielle’s memories of the time she spent with Humphrey. The present circumstances include the community’s reaction of calling for streetlights and sidewalks along the road and suggesting that teens need babysitting classes, but more insistently, the accident has incited resentment of people in the country illegally, since the driver of the car that hit Humphrey was a man who had long overstayed his student visa from fifteen years earlier. The book thus has all the complications of real life: while Danielle is entirely focused on grieving Humphrey, her friends and neighbors are pushing to involve her in their various causes; additionally, she is being drawn into a relationship with a boy who turns out to have more at stake in the incident than she knew. The chapters that focus on Humphrey are an homage to the capacity of young children to think deeply interesting thoughts, while the sections that focus on the present day develop Danielle as a young woman whose family dynamics could either hold her back or propel her forward, depending on her choices. The immigration angle is depicted as a genuine debate rather than simplistic sidetaking, and there are threads throughout that explore the painful, messy, but sometimes quite wonderful nature of relationships. Readers will laugh and cry, but perhaps most importantly, they will think their way through important personal and social issues as they grieve along with Danielle. KC - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2013 Gr 9 Up—Unwilling to work as a CIT for the summer before 10th grade, Danielle instead takes a babysitting job. Five-year-old Humphrey is a fantastic kid, and with him she can let go of the fears of being a leader that kept her from camp. The unlikely pair form a strong and genuine, if unconventional, friendship-something very different from the proximity-based friendships Danielle has with her peers. Everything comes to a sudden halt when Humphrey chases a football into the path of an oncoming car. His death weighs heavily on Danielle, who feels guilty for the accident and alone in her grief: How can she explain to anyone what the child meant to her? Meanwhile, the town is using the accident to push for safety improvements along the road and legislation against undocumented immigrants like the family in the car that struck the boy. Siblings, parents, and friends are all portrayed as real people struggling with their own issues, and Danielle finally begins to understand her complex relationships with the people around her. Contrasting her pain with the town's political agendas emphasizes that the rest of the world doesn't stop because her world did. The discussion of these real issues is deftly woven into the story, never overshadowing the protagonist's journey toward healing. A budding romance rounds out the plot. This book is sure to be a hit among teens seeking a substantive drama.—Brandy Danner, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.