The Someday Suitcase by Corey Ann Haydu (review)
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Reviewed by
Haydu, Corey Ann The Someday Suitcase. Tegen/HarperCollins, 2017[304p]
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-06-235275-0 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-06-235277-4 $9.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 4–6

Fifth grade starts out as usual for Clover and her lifelong best friend, Danny; the science unit on symbiosis is particularly interesting, since that concept seems to encapsulate their friendship. Danny’s sudden health problems throw Clover for a loop, but she’s certain she will be key to his getting better. After all, Clover knows Danny better than anyone and she’s got a knack for science, so she’s sure the latter [End Page 454] will help her save her friend. While it does look like for some mysterious reason Clover’s presence improves Danny’s condition, that’s not enough to cure him; the two kids are convinced, however, that a jaunt to a special clinic in Vermont will be the solution. Haydu sets her events in the real world, but at heart she’s a fabulist; while some of the events here are implausible, it’s the emotional truth that counts here, and it packs a wallop. Clover’s sympathetic connection with Danny is deeply touching but it’s also a problem, as Clover begins to realize how much she’s losing by pushing everything else, including her new friendship with classmate Elsa, aside to devote herself to Danny’s increasingly precarious health. This is therefore more a precursor to YA tales of interdependency such as Crossan’s One (BCCB 12/15) or Moskowitz’s Teeth (2/13) than a Bridge to Terabithia reboot, and it will elicit plenty of discussion among young readers about the possibilities and obligations of friendship.

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