(2) 4-6 In Spinelli's novel in verse, twelve-year-old Birdie's summer is disrupted by love. Her live-in grandmother tumbles for the new-senior-in-town; Birdie is on the verge of liking Scrabble pal Martin; and Birdie's widowed mother starts dating. The sorrows here are convincing but non-angsty, the families troubled but functional, the narrative voice charming but not too clever. This is classic middle grade, all the better for its old-fashioned flavor.


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