Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Booki Vivat
Illustrator: Booki Vivat
Publisher: Harper Collins
Abbie Wu is finally getting the hang of middle school—that is, until she goes on a week-long camp trip with all of her classmates. Everything feels different at "Outdoor School," and suddenly Abbie doesn't know where she fits in. Assigned to a cabin with girls she doesn't know, unsure about what activities to try, and still in the shadow of her popular older brother Peter, who just happened to be a camp counselor this year, Abbie feels alone and overwhelmed. After talking to a wise counselor about how to fix these problems, Abbie decides to fearlessly try everything and hang out with everyone. All seems to being going perfectly until Abbie starts to feel lost and overwhelmed in the flurry of activity. This culminates in "the incident." From here, Abbie must figure out how to regain her confidence, stay true to herself, and leave her legacy at Outdoor School. With the help of her fellow campers and another unlikely source, Abbie is able to do just that.
Minor Incidents and Absolute Uncertainties is a book that touches on questions of confidence, fitting in at school and at home, and navigating friendships during the often turbulent time that is middle school. Because of this, the book is particularly relatable for young readers the same age as Abbie. However, the writing style and plot, though charming, are very simplistic and may be more suitable for younger children who are not yet experiencing the stresses of adolescence. In spite of this, the book tells an encouraging story of gaining confidence and building strong family relationships in healthy ways. When Abbie ultimately turns to her older brother for help, she is able to overcome her problems in a way that allows her to stay true to herself. As such, young readers of all ages are given an example of how to tackle difficulties in positive ways.