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Can You Say Catastrophe? (Mostly Miserable Life of April Sinclair) Hardcover – August 1, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

For those on the other side of age 13, April Sinclair’s angst should slam home memories of that tumultuous year; for those approaching or enduring that pivotal year, it sheds plenty of bright light on what might lie ahead. April’s catastrophic year begins on her birthday, April 20—the day she calls “the most embarrassing day of my life.” It involves her mischievous younger sisters, May and June, who make her life unbearable. Plus, her parents don’t understand her: they even cancel April’s summer camp. Instead, they purchase a dilapidated RV and head out on a family vacation. April at least knows her world is ending; the two-week trip is meanwhile transforming for the entire family. With its painful, foible-laden plot and diary format, this first installment in the Mostly Miserable Life of April Sinclair series is sure to capture readers graduating from the Baby-Sitters Club and its ilk. Grades 5-8. --J. B. Petty


"Friedman (the Mallory series) makes April believably melodramatic, self-absorbed, and insecure, yet keeps her fully sympathetic as she faces the confusion of growing up, changing relationships, and figuring out what truly matters." - Publishers Weekly

"In this first title of her new series, Friedman delves into a plethora of teen concerns as April copes with body-image worries, friendships, family relationships and first kisses. She consummately conveys April's self-absorption, adeptly capturing the turmoil of the shifting stages between childhood and adolescence." - Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Mostly Miserable Life of April Sinclair (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Lerner / Darby Creek (August 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1467709255
  • ISBN-13: 978-1467709255
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,265,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laurie Friedman is the author of over 30 award-winning books for children. Laurie has also written many rhyming picture books and writes the popular Mallory McDonald chapter book series for 7-10 year olds. Published by Lerner Books, the twenty-first book in the series, Three's Company, Mallory is now available. Laurie has a new journal format series for older readers entitled, The Mostly Miserable Life of April Sinclair. The second book in the series, Too Good to be True, is now available.

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Format: Hardcover
Faraway, Alabama was far away from anything exciting until Matt Parker moved in next door to the Sinclairs. April could really get into knowing a guy like that, but no way would that happen when June opened her mouth. "April said you're hot and that she doesn't even know you yet, but she already has a crush on you." Leave it to a six-year-old to wreck her thirteen-year-old life in two flat seconds. Maybe one. April's little sister, May, wasn't a lot better in the life-wrecking department. April had told her BFF, Brynn, about Matt, but seriously didn't think it would be repeated. And then May had to go try to pick Matt up ... literally.

April, Brynn, and Billy, the "Three Musketeers," were going to be heading off to Camp Silver Shores in fifty-one days. Leaving everyone behind would work for April, like totally. "Four amazing weeks with no parents of sisters to drive me crazy," she exclaimed to Brynn and Billy, "My mom is driving me nuts." April's birthday party had been totaled and and everything about her life was a huge catastrophe. Now that thing with Matt was weird, but then got "super weird" when Billy decided to toe-touch. It was if "they had minds of their own and they didn't want to stop touching." Camp sure would be different this year.

Of all things, April's Dad was opening the "Love Doctor Diner" and the servers were going to be "Ambassadors of Love." Guess who was going to be a server? April had been "born into what was clearly the wrong family" for her and between the diner and the Matt incident she didn't know which was worse. Matt, her "not-so-secret crush" was on her mind, but when Billy kissed her things were starting to look up. Well, not with her family because they were a pain and she let them know it.
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