Eleven-year-old Calli Gold is the quiet third child in a family of loud overachievers. In fact, the family motto is Be Gold. Calli's sister is on an ice-skating team, and her brother's a basketball star. Her parents are sure she has a hidden gift for something. They just have to figure out what it is! But Calli has flopped at everything she's tried. She sure doesn't feel like a Gold.
Until a new person enters her life. Second grader Noah Zullo might seem strange to some people, but Calli can't help liking him, and they become partners in their school's Peer Helper Program. When they create a booth for the Friendship Fair, they fill it with secrets and surprises. And as Calli and Noah work and learn together, they even surprise themselves.
Michele Weber Hurwitz's debut is an endearing and gently humorous story about the true meaning of achievement and the important things an "ordinary" kid has to offer.
Maud Hart Lovelace Award (Minnesota)
Bluestem Readers’ Choice Award (Illinois)
It s hard not to fall in love with 11-year-old Calli Gold, who is forced into the role of quiet observer in her very busy, boisterous, and achievement-oriented family. Her sister is on the ice-skating team, her brother is a basketball star, and the family calendar is filled with everyone s activities except Calli s ( Light yellow is the color of my Post-its. There are only two of them on the Calendar.... One is for a dentist appointment and the other is for a haircut ). She is shuttled around between her siblings engagements, occasionally forced to try yet another after-school activity that ultimately disappoints both her and her family. Things change, however, when she meets second-grader Noah Zullo, who has a similarly detail-oriented perspective on the world and is in dire need of a friend. The pressures of modern family life come through loud in clear in Hurwitz s debut novel, which should speak to children who, like Calli, know what it s like to be a normal, even average, member of a family that values success above all else. Ages 8 12.
Excellent, well-written story!