Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan
Publisher: Puffin Books
Sloan masterfully creates distinct characters that stay with you long after the last page of the book. Willow Chance doesn't fit in. She's adopted and different from her parents, but she likes that. She's a genius and different from the kids at school, but that mostly doesn't bother her either. Instead, she dives into her garden and other eccentricities developing humor, intelligence, and inner-peace along the way. When Willow's world gets torn apart, it's up to her to find a new source of peace and a new place to belong. In doing so, she helps those around her feel more comfortable too.
In an achingly beautiful story, Sloan teaches readers that not only is it okay to stand out, but it is also okay to fit in. It is okay to accept and invite others into your inner circle. This tale of transformation features life in all its curiosities, hilarities, and heartaches. When things go wrong, Willow deals. She deals until she doesn't have to anymore and she realizes that life goes on, even if in a different form. This novel is perfect for middle school and high school readers who are trying to make sense of the changing world around them and sometimes need to be reminded that they can do hard things.