Synopses & Reviews
Starting middle school brings all the usual challenges — until the unthinkable happens, and Fern and her family must find a way to heal.
Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible. It seems as though everyone in her family has better things to do than pay attention to her: Mom (when shes not meditating) helps Dad run the family restaurant; Sarah is taking a gap year after high school; and Holden pretends that Mom and Dad and everyone else doesnt know hes gay, even as he fends off bullies at school. Then theres Charlie: three years old, a "surprise" baby, the center of everyones world. Hes devoted to Fern, but hes annoying, too, always getting his way, always dirty, always commanding attention. If it wasnt for Ran, Ferns calm and positive best friend, thered be nowhere to turn. Rans mantra, "All will be well," is soothing in a way that nothing else seems to be. And when Ran says it, Fern can almost believe its true. But then tragedy strikes- and Fern feels not only more alone than ever, but also responsible for the accident that has wrenched her family apart. All will not be well. Or at least all will never be the same.
"Twelve-year-old Fern's family members are so consumed with their own lives that Fern often feels overlooked. She has a lot on her plate, dealing with her annoying three-year-old brother, Charlie, and tart-tongued sister, Sara, as well as being publically embarrassed by her father's overzealous marketing for their family restaurant, Harry's. Additionally, Fern's mother often disappears to meditate, while older brother Holden who is being bullied at school and is struggling over whether to come out as gay pushes Fern away. Things become nearly unbearable when Fern blames herself for a tragic accident that rocks the family to its core. Luckily, Fern's closest friend, the perpetually serene Ran, and, indeed, her family help her find a glimmer of hope amid powerful grief. Through the eyes of Fern, Knowles (Lessons from a Dead Girl) introduces a cast of distinct, fully developed characters who exhibit authentic emotions, foibles, and expressions of love. Readers will feel deeply for the family in the aftermath of the plot's heart-wrenching turn, which pulls them closer together. Ages 12 up. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
* "Zeroing in with uncommon perspicacity on the push-and-pull relationship between the two children...Davies casts them into a series of strenuous tests...Action and humor make the hard lessons go down easy."
--Kirkus, starred review
"The series' many fans won't want to miss this one."
A magic show, card tricks, and a disappearing rabbit named Professor Hoffmanandmdash;the Treski kids are at it again as they try to put on a show in the face of an approaching hurricane. But nothing prepares them for what blows into town next: their long-lost dad.
Jessie and Evan Treski have waged a lemonade war, sought justice in a class trial,unmasked a bell thief, and stood at opposite ends over the right to keep secrets.
and#160;and#160;and#160;Now they are creating a magic showand#8212;a professional magic show, in their own backyard! They practice, they study, and they practice some more. And who shows up? Their father, who has done such a good job of disappearing over the past fewand#160;years.
and#160;and#160;and#160;Just as Evan and Jessie took on running a business inand#160;The Lemonadeand#160;Warand#160;and a court of law in The Lemonade Crime, in this fifth novel of the bestselling Lemonade War series, they take on the challenges of magic and illusion all while discovering someand#160;hidden truths about their own family. Anotherand#160;fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel by the author whom Books for Kids calls, "one of the best writers for the middle grades around."
About the Author
Jo Knowles is the author of the YA novels Lessons from a Dead Girl and Jumping Off Swings. The recipient of the 2005 PEN Literary Award, she lives in Vermont.