Author: Tara Altebrando
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Genre: Middle Grade
Goodreads: It is summertime, and twelve-year-old Julia Richards cannot stand the anticipation. Everyone on Darcy Lane seems to be holding their breath waiting for the cicadas to emerge, but what Julia and her best friend, Taylor, want is some real excitement. Which arrives in the form of a new neighbor named Alyssa, who introduces a ball game called Russia . . . and an unwelcome level of BFF rivalry.
Suddenly nothing stands unchallenged—not Julia’s friendships, her crush, or her independence. But while Julia realizes that she cannot control all the changes in her life, she hangs onto the hope that everything will go in her favor if she can just win one magnificent showdown.
Acclaimed author Tara Altebrando’s middle-grade debut features a voice that is true to the adolescent experience, where everything is felt acutely in a whirlwind of all-or-nothing emotion.
Ope’s Opinion: Tara Altebrando really knows how to write from a young middle grade perspective. I think any one in that age range would enjoy this and I think any parent would approve their child reading this book.
This is a realistic look at how friendships grow and change. It also showed the pain of letting a friend go when that relationship doesn’t work anymore. Julia’s summer was full of learning experiences.
I was impressed with Altebrando’s writing of the parents. It seems a large number of books for young teens leave the parents out of the picture. In this book Julia has two wonderful involved parents, who also have a great relationship. It is great to read about parents who are setting a good example for their children.
The ending felt satisfying to me, but also open ended. I hope that means we will see Julia again. I would like to know how she does when she gets back into the school routine.
Rating: Four Chairs – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.