From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Stella is living with her great-aunt Louise on Cape Cod because her mother has abrogated her maternal responsibilities. Angel, whose parents are both gone, is there as a foster child. Sharp-edged Angel and Heloise's Hints-embued Stella could not be more different, despite their shared lack of parents. They're spending the summer helping Louise run a small group of vacation cottages and wondering what will happen next. What occurs, however, is completely unexpected. Louise dies. Facing an uncertain future, Stella and Angel have to make some choices. Their first choice-to conceal the death-is a bad one. It leads to additional decisions-good and bad-that gradually unite the girls as they work to survive and begin to understand just what "family" means. Pennypacker's heart-touching book (Baltzer + Bray, 2013) features a summer in which adults play only bit parts and the girls uncover their own strengths. At times touching and suspenseful, this is an exceptional story and Jenna Lamia reads it in Stella's voice, with other characters sporting the accents of Boston and Portugal. She brings the tale to life and makes listeners truly care about Stella, Angel, and their fate.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary, Federal Way, WAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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“A suspenseful, surprising novel of friendship and family from the creator of the popular Clementine series.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Beautifully evoked, the novel’s Cape Cod setting plays a focal role in this richly layered tale of loss, resiliency, and belonging.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Pennypacker is a Beverly Cleary-caliber girl-whisperer; she can weave a yarn both funny and touching, with all the beloved, timeworn themes at the ready: friendship, family, loyalty, loss and independence.” (New York Times Book Review)
“Pennypacker’s marvelously tactile writing animates Stella’s narration and brings both engaging, resilient, and resourceful characters to life.” (School Library Journal)