- USD 1.99
#1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins's poignant middle grade novel in verse about coming to terms with indelible truths of family and belonging.
For the most part, Hannah's life is just how she wants it. She has two supportive parents, she's popular at school, and she's been killing it at gymnastics. But when her cousin Cal moves in with her family, everything changes. Cal tells half-truths and tall tales, pranks Hannah constantly, and seems to be the reason her parents are fighting more and more. Nothing is how it used to be. She knows that Cal went through a lot after his mom died and she is trying to be patient, but most days Hannah just wishes Cal never moved in.
For his part, Cal is trying his hardest to fit in, but not everyone is as appreciative of his unique sense of humor and storytelling gifts as he is. Humor and stories might be his defense mechanism, but if Cal doesn't let his walls down soon, he might push away the very people who are trying their best to love him.
Told in verse from the alternating perspectives of Hannah and Cal, this is a story of two cousins who are more alike than they realize and the family they both want to save.
In this two-voicer written in prose poems, Hopkins (People Kill People) tells the story of cousins Hannah Lincoln and Calvin Pace, both sixth graders. Following his mother's death three years prior and subsequent difficulties with his father, who struggles with drug addiction, Cal is living with Hannah's family. He likes it there, but he's been through a lot and doesn't feel completely safe, and he knows that popular gymnast Hannah isn't crazy about having a housemate who melts down at school and whose tall tales and disappearances bring chaos into her home life. She admits that things haven't been great for a while, but it's hard not to blame Cal when her parents' marriage seems to be fraying, in part because they disagree about how to handle him. Cal's an aspiring writer, and his chapters question their own accuracy ("FACT OR FICTION:/ Owls Are Bad Luck"); Hannah's sections are framed as definitions, as she tries to pin down what's what. While the headers can feel forced, Hopkins creates realistic portrayals of two kids trying to do their best even when it's not easy. Ages 10 up. \n