Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Hilary McKay
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Caddy and her three friends Alison, Ruby, and Beth have been inseparable since the first day of school when they were five. Now they are twelve and each is dealing with her own challenges that include a new baby sister born too early, moving to another country far away, going to a new school where she knows no one, and growing taller, bigger and faster than everyone else her age. On top of all these complications, Dingbat, their communal boyfriend has decided to dump three of them and focus on only one of the four girls. How each of them deals with life’s changes makes for a hilarious and poignant story that will have you sighing in sympathy one moment and laughing out loud the next.
Told through Caddy’s eyes, this story will keep readers chuckling through the antics of her younger brother and sister. Having their father in charge of the chaotic household while their mother is in the hospital is a recipe for amusement also. A ‘growing up’ book, McKay clearly understands children and the problems they face as they go through the changes life brings. The book is well written, face paced, and easily read. It would be a good book to read in a classroom setting or with a parent and child. McKay introduces family conditions as well as growing-up situations that could lead to meaningful conversations.