Erin Entrada Kelly
Preteens Charlotte and Ben share an online friendship that serves as a lifeline, while each struggle with family problems and middle school social issues. At first the two share a passion for Scrabble, but their online friendship evolves into a friendship by phone – since they live in different states – when life proves too difficult to handle alone. Charlotte is having trouble coping with her father’s hospitalization for a heart attack and her loss of her best friend at school. Ben is dealing with his parent’s separation and his struggle to win a student council election. The story is told in alternating voices and the entire story takes place during one week of the school year. Ben is a Ravenclaw with an encyclopedic knowledge of presidential history and is full of optimism about his upcoming student council election. Charlotte’s parents are much older than her friends’ parents and she worries that her father may not live through his heart attack. Readers will be able to relate the humiliations of middle school and will enjoy the evolution of Charlotte and Ben’s friendship over the course of the story. This is a heartfelt story of resilience and friendship.
Renee (Parr Library)