|Family game night and other catastrophes|
Author: Lambert, Mary E.
Seventh-grader Annabelle's mother is a hoarder, and their whole house is full of canned goods, broken toys, fabric, and old newspapers--but when a pile of newspapers (organized by weather reports) falls on Annabelle's younger sister Leslie and their mother is more concerned about the newspapers, it sets off a chain of events that brings their fix-it-all grandmother in and Annabelle realizes that if there is any hope for change she cannot isolate herself and keep her family's problems secret.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 188107
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 71051
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 11/01/2016 Gr 4–7—Annabelle's family seems to be slowly slipping out of control. In order to establish a sense of order for herself, Annabelle creates a few self-imposed rules. First, nobody from school is allowed within five miles of her house. This is pretty easy, since her family's increasingly run-down abode is miles outside of town. Second, no unnecessary items are allowed in her room, and she checks for this daily. Finally, and most important, nobody outside of Annabelle's family can know what really goes on at home. She does not want anyone to know that her mom collects things. In fact, she hoards them. Room after room has been taken over by items like newspapers (arranged by weather forecast), canned goods, items purchased from infomercials, Beanie Babies, and egg cartons. As a result, Annabelle's little sister has nightmares, her brother spends as little time at the house as possible, and her father throws himself into his work. After an incident with one of her mother's stacks of newspapers, Annabelle's parents have a fight that threatens to tear the family apart. Can Annabelle's overbearing, bossy grandmother step in and save the day, or will she do more harm than good? Will her mother ever be able to function without hoarding? This poignant tale with an authentic and memorable narrator will resonate with many young readers—whether they have personal experiences with hoarding or not. VERDICT Move this to the top of the realistic fiction purchase list in libraries serving middle graders.—Carli Sauer, Carmel Middle School, IN - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 01/01/2017 Annabelle’s mother “collects”: linens stacked by color, egg cartons with odd-numbered expiration dates, Beanie Babies in the stair banister. No one uses the word hoarding. Instead they find ways to cope. Her dad immerses himself in Sherlock Holmes, her brother is never home, her sister Leslie collects stories of people killed by clutter. For her part, Annabelle purges her room weekly of anything nonessential. But when a pile of newspapers falls on Leslie, the coping strategies crack, and Annabelle fears her family is truly broken. Her father leaves early on a work trip to England, and her grandmother arrives to help, but Grandma Nora’s approach to fixing things only transforms the home into a battle zone. The story falters in its after-school-special ending, but the strong writing, characters, and humor counterbalance this weakness and create a gripping tale of family love as Annabelle struggles to choose between escaping and staying to help unbury her family from impending disaster. Make room on your shelves for this engaging and topical novel. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.