From School Library Journal
Gr 4-7–Sunday Fowler, nearly 12, feels nearly invisible, stuck in the middle of six siblings who always seem to get noticed by their harried parents. She sees her chance to make her mark when her father, who has been renovating a library several hours away, makes arrangements for his family to stay with him for the summer as he completes the job. Many moments of hilarity and conflict in the large family are nicely captured, but there are just too many of them. Readers may be initially sympathetic to Sunday's plight as the middle child, especially after she is left behind at a rest stop, but her constant tallying of slights quickly grows wearisome. She also comes off as a user. The friendships she strikes up are means to an end, and the mild mystery she tries to solve feels contrived. Also, it's a bit of a stretch to accept that the children would be allowed access to a construction site where no qualified personnel are working and be expected to pitch in and help one moment, and then be allowed to range freely around town the next because it is convenient to the plot. Other details that don't add up include sending Sunday down darkened stairs to an equally dark basement with a flashlight to count lightbulbs or having the ability to view activity on the front porch of a house from its third-story window.–Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Almost 12-year-old Sunday Fowler is the middle of six children, too young to hang with her sisters and too old for her brothers. Constantly worried that she will never stand out in such a large family, Sunday suffers the ultimate indignity when her parents drive off from a gas station without her—and don’t even realize that she is missing. When the family relocates to the small town of Alma, Pennsylvania, so that her father can help to renovate the town library, Sunday is determined to do something that will make her famous. A new friend, a cantankerous neighbor, and an anonymous manuscript discovered in the library basement are all the ingredients she needs. Eland’s sophomore effort (Scones and Sensibility, 2009) is a contemporary story with the feel of a classic. Loving references to favorite books and a strong ensemble of supporting characters contribute to the well-paced and enjoyable story. There are no shocks in store for the reader, but Sunday is such a believable character, both in her self-doubt and in her ultimate triumph, that this book is certain to stand out. Grades 3-6. --Kara Dean