Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Lisa Papademetriou
Callie’s life has become complicated ever since her family moved from New Jersey to the exclusive Upper East Side of New York City. As if fitting in and making friends in an unfamiliar private school isn’t enough, Callie's little brother is bullied, her father loses his job, her parents fight a lot, and Callie lies to everyone just to cope with the stress. She skips school for the first time to avoid another tardy, but then Callie starts visiting museums across the city instead of going to class, rationalizing that museums are educational. The only person Callie can really talk to is her grandma, but even she is acting strange and obsessing about reliving 1986. Callie's g randma reads magazines from 1986, listens to vintage music, and has a boyfriend who lives in the apartment below (number 1986). Callie learns a lot about herself and the meaning of friendship as she uncovers a family secret and makes a new friend.
This award-winning author has written many books geared to middle-grade and young adult readers including the Confectionately Yours series and A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic. Though the tween talk in this book can be annoying to some readers, it is a vehicle to connect with a target audience of preadolescent girls. The story is fast-paced, modern, and engaging for readers who love realistic fiction. Each characters' development highlights the importance of family communication, loyalty, and trust. Through Callie’s eyes, readers experience the hardships of growing up and dealing with problems society faces. This book explores the notion that by accepting people as they are, all of us, young and old, can grow and have a change of attitude; sometimes there are heroes in the most unexpected of people, even a parent.
*Contains mild language.