Monday, September 26, 2016
TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND COUNT TO SIXTY
From talented debut author Kathleen Lane comes The Best Worst Thing, an engaging and deeply perceptive novel about what growing up really feels like. Maggie is about to start middle school and is worried about pretty much everything--growing apart from her older sister, not seeing her father as much as she'd like, the fate of the cute little rabbits next door, the threat of the dangerous bully in her neighborhood, and, to top it all off, there's an actual murderer on the loose in her small town. Her helplessness in the face of the chaos of her world drives her to seek control in other ways--saying things twice (saying things twice), only eating an even number of snacks, and holding her breath and counting to 60. It's when she devises a pretty ambitious plan for keeping her and her loved ones safe, though, that things really start get out of hand. Will Maggie ever manage to feel like everything will turn out alright in the end?
Somehow Lane takes her readers into the mind of a preteen with anxiety-driven obsessive-compulsive tendencies and explores some fairly intense topics while managing to keep the tone relatively light and ultimately hopeful. Maggie's voice rings true and will certainly offer assurance to readers trying to find their place in a rapidly-changing world.
An engrossing read best for 5th to 8th graders.