Library ed. ISBN 978-1-101-93876-8 $19.99
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-101-93875-1 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-101-93877-5 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 5–7
The night of the sixth-grade dance, everything changes for Maddie, but not in the way she’d hoped. She was supposed to dance with, and maybe kiss, her male friend Avery, but instead, Avery asks new girl Gabriella to dance—and a freak tornado rips through their Massachusetts town. The tornado destroys both Maddie and Avery’s homes, and they find themselves living together for the summer in a neighbor’s large home while their families rebuild. Despite its first-romance setup, the emotional impact of this coming-of-age novel lies in its sensitive exploration of Maddie’s changing friendships in the transition from elementary school to junior high. No one her age other than Avery can really understand what it’s like to lose your home and all your things, but he rarely wants to talk. Meanwhile, Maddie’s best friend Kiersten has started hanging out with Gabriella, leaving Maddie with the feeling that she’s losing both her best friend and her hoped-for boyfriend to Gabby. Maddie remains sympathetic and likable even when her actions aren’t, and Kiersten, Gabby, and Avery are well-rounded characters with challenges of their own. Readers going through the messy transition into adolescence will find hope in the newly strengthened friendships with which Maddie enters seventh grade.