“A touching tale of understanding and friendship . . . The message of education as a vehicle for progress and dismantling hatred is one that will strike a chord with readers.” — Kirkus Reviews
"A book to be read over and over for its intriguing story, illustrations, and captions." —School Library Journal, starred review
"Braden sensitively demonstrates how isolating it can be to live with people who, despite good intentions, force their children to fulfill expectations that run counter to their own senses of self. . . . All the characters find ways to encourage each other, be less alone, and connect.”—Booklist, starred review
If there's something editors are hungry for right now, it's middle-grade contemporary fiction with strong characters and voice. And boy, does Mary Penney have it in spades! Her first novel, ELEVEN AND HOLDING, just sold to Kristen Pettit at HarperCollins, and you just ache along with Macy, the main character, as she resists all the change in her life with everything she has.
Turning twelve is the last straw for Macy. It means she'll be going to junior high without her best friend, who's a year younger. Add that to the death of her beloved grandmother and the loss of the cafe that Nana owned (Macy's home away from home), the fact that her father, a soldier, is back from the Middle East and yet is still mysteriously "away" somewhere, and the way Macy's relationship with her mother has gone from understanding to adversarial, and it's just too much to bear. Macy determines to find her father and bring him home to the family that needs him, but soon finds that all the people who she's cast in very black and white roles in the drama of her life begin to resolve, as they do for so many of us at this tender age, into shades of gray, and that the truth is found in letting herself continue to grow up.
Huge congratulations to Mary for finding such an enthusiastic home for Macy!