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|Falling over sideways|
Author: Sonnenblick, Jordan
Harassed at her middle school, not taken seriously at home, and with a "perfect" older brother, Matthew, to live up to, thirteen-year-old Claire has always felt like her life was cursed--then one morning, when she and her beloved father are talking at breakfast, her father suddenly falls over with a stroke, and suddenly everything changes.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 184768
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 69554
Kirkus Reviews (+) (06/15/16)
School Library Journal (-) (07/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (07/16)
The Hornbook (00/09/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2016 Claire is having a difficult last year in middle school, separating from her best dance friends and struggling with being on the outs with the mean girls at school. At least her inner voice has a full stockpile of snark to get her through the day, although she doesn’t like it when her dad turns her exasperated sarcasm against her. She and he have always been close, which makes it all the more horrible when he has a stroke. That challenge takes center stage for everyone except Claire, who is still mostly invested in her adolescent problems, of which her father’s slow and incomplete recovery becomes yet another one. A frank talk with her brother turns her around, and Claire slowly gets some perspective, not only on the relative weight of what matters in life but also on who her friends really are and how she might be able to help her father. Much of this novel is carried by the humorous voice, intimacy, and relatability of Claire’s perspective; it’s only when you go a few thousand miles out that you see this as the mild scold it is to middle-school students everywhere who think their relationship problems are the worst, most all-consuming things to ever happen in the history of the world. As a rebuke to such egoism, however, it’s pretty gentle and heartfelt and, well, completely necessary, so why not? KC - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2016 Gr 6–8—Claire Goldsmith has been living a relatively cursed life, at least in her opinion. Her dance friends have all moved up a level, but she's stayed the same. Eighth grade is nightmarish thanks to mean girls and an even meaner boy. At home, her parents and older brother aren't exactly sympathetic to her plight. But one morning Claire's life goes from bad to worse when her dad has a stroke. Now Claire has to deal with dance and middle school drama and the emotional trauma that comes from watching her once strong father deal with the aftermath of his medical condition. The protagonist is a realistic 13-year-old; her struggles with bullies and friends and her attempts to get out of her brother's shadow are relatable. However, while the novel centers on the ways a stroke can affect the dynamics of a family, the story does not go very deep. The writing is only surface level; readers are told more than shown. The plot seems to meander among Claire's life at school, her dancing, and her situation at home, but a balance is never quite met. VERDICT This novel may resonate with some readers but is more of a supplemental purchase.—Paige Garrison, Augusta Richmond County Library System, GA - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.