From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up–Unwilling to work as a CIT for the summer before 10th grade, Danielle instead takes a babysitting job. Five-year-old Humphrey is a fantastic kid, and with him she can let go of the fears of being a leader that kept her from camp. The unlikely pair form a strong and genuine, if unconventional, friendship–something very different from the proximity-based friendships Danielle has with her peers. Everything comes to a sudden halt when Humphrey chases a football into the path of an oncoming car. His death weighs heavily on Danielle, who feels guilty for the accident and alone in her grief: How can she explain to anyone what the child meant to her? Meanwhile, the town is using the accident to push for safety improvements along the road and legislation against undocumented immigrants like the family in the car that struck the boy. Siblings, parents, and friends are all portrayed as real people struggling with their own issues, and Danielle finally begins to understand her complex relationships with the people around her. Contrasting her pain with the town's political agendas emphasizes that the rest of the world doesn't stop because her world did. The discussion of these real issues is deftly woven into the story, never overshadowing the protagonist's journey toward healing. A budding romance rounds out the plot. This book is sure to be a hit among teens seeking a substantive drama.–Brandy Danner, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Danielle wasn’t sure she would make a great babysitter, but five-year-old Humphrey was such a cool little kid. Then, after a successful session at the playground, where Danielle teaches Humphrey to throw a football in a perfect spiral, the ball bounces into the street, and Humphrey takes off after it. She remembers seeing a teal-blue minivan and vaguely wondering if that was the car that hit Humphrey, but all details are lost in a haze of grief when Danielle learns Humphrey has been killed. Her feeling of guilt chokes back her words. The community, however, seizes on the accident to promote two political causes: making the road safer and cracking down on illegal immigrants (the driver of the blue minivan turns out to be undocumented). The theme of immigration issues reaches into the plotline from several angles, perhaps stretching credulity. But it does inform readers about the plight of illegal immigrants and, more importantly, their children. Grades 8-11. --Diane Colson