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The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June Hardcover – August 3, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–With the divorce of their parents, the move to a new community, and starting a new high school, sisters April, May, and June are undoubtedly under a lot of stress. The manifestation of this pressure is the re-emergence from childhood of some special powers: April is suddenly seeing visions of the future, May can turn herself invisible, and June can hear people's thoughts. These abilities could give them the chance to do something important, but instead April tries to micromanage everyone's lives, May tries to escape her troubles, and June uses her abilities to be popular. Things come to a head when April sends May to spy on June during an unchaperoned party. The dialogue is sharp and witty (and often includes profanity), the characters are mostly likable, and the personality of each sister is clearly delineated (the first-person narration alternates among them) as is the strength of their relationship. Why these special powers have surfaced is never fully explained. This novel will appeal to teens looking for a light read.Kathy Kirchoefer, Prince Georges County Memorial Library System, New Carrollton, MD
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

For sisters April (16), May (15), and June (14), it’s been hard enough dealing with their parents’ divorce, a move, and a new school. But things get even more complicated after each girl unexpectedly rediscovers an unusual childhood ability: April can foresee the future; May can become invisible; and June can read minds. As the sisters try to manage their powers, they also fight about how best to use them, especially since April’s foreboding visions may involve family members. Events culminate in unexpected ways, but the perspective each girl gains about her abilities, priorities, and relationships ultimately brings positive change. Droll and dramatic, the first-person narratives rotate among conscientious and responsible April; sometimes-snarky outsider May; and popularity-aspiring June. With amusing detail, each girl highlights her individual challenges as she navigates the complexities of family, friends, school, and romance. While the girls’ narratives occasionally blur, their experiences, both everyday and fantastical, create an enjoyable, contemporary read about family bonds. Grades 9-12. --Shelle Rosenfeld

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 281 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill (August 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159514286X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595142863
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,788,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By OpheliasOwn VINE VOICE on March 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
AAhhhh... sisters. No one really understands the relationship between sisters unless they have them. I happen to have a younger sister who is also the middle child- talk about a therapists dream come true (just kidding!). When we were younger, we didn't hate each other, but we weren't the great friends we are today. Don't get me wrong, we still snipe, annoy, and nudge one another on a regular basis, but the sisterly bond is one no outsider or non-sister can understand. Now add newly realized "super" powers to sister rivalry and you have the fantastic and fun book The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June by Robin Benway.

April is the careful, driven oldest sister. May is the middle child who often gets lost in the flurry and sometimes feels forgotten. June is the impetuous youngest sister who just wants to be popular. When their parents get divorced, the girls move with their mother to a new school. As if that weren't traumatic enough, they begin to develop abilities that will test both their sisterly bonds and their futures.

April realizes she can see the future. She can't command the visions to appear, but when she is around a place or person involved in the future event, she can get snippits. May develops the ability to disappear. Not literally, of course, but she becomes invisible and no one can see her (a typical middle sister power). She can't control when it happens, and often finds herself in precarious situations. June learns she can read people's minds- even her sisters' minds. She chooses to use her power as a way to gain popularity and be part of the cool clique.

When the girls realize what is happening to them, April tells them they can't use their powers for self-serving purposes, but June refuses to follow April's orders.
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Format: Hardcover
April, May and June were three normal sisters, at least they thought they were until their parents divorce. Now they seem to have recovered special powers from when they were youngsters. April can now see the future, May can make herself invisible and June can read everyone's thoughts. These special powers have April and May freaked out, but June thinks she can use her powers to her advantage to gain friendships at a new school. When April starts seeing trouble in the form of red flashing lights and her sister's face she knows something needs to happen so she can save her sister. April's vision aren't always that clear though and she may need her sisters' help more than she could imagine.

I don't even know where do begin to describe how awesome this book is. I loved the three sisters and how different they were but what a great relationship they had. The dynamic between the sisters was just amazing, you could taste the sibling tension in the air. They fought, they loved and most importantly they (more or less) stuck together in all their glorious weird-ness. The fact that they had special powers was a nice twist to this otherwise "realistic fiction" novel. This book talked about a lot of things that kids have to go through; divorce, changing schools, having parents move really far away, and puberty-like superpowers. Robin Benway manages to make these teen girls very easy to relate to despite the fact that most of us do not have incredible mind powers. The girls still had to cope with ordinary things like school work and boys, parties and making friends. I loved how this story was told in alternating viewpoints from the three sisters and how they told it like they were telling you about it not writing it down. Near the end the alternating got a little less personal than in the beginning.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When April, May, and June's parents get divorced and they suddenly have to move to an entirely new town, they think their lives are as crazy as they're ever going to get. Boy, were they wrong.

At heart, this is your typical story about teenagers getting abilities, but it has the very interesting twist of having it be three sisters. I think I'll go ahead and dive into what I liked and didn't like about the book, just to make this a little easier.

What I liked:
- The characters: most of the characters of this book really come alive in the writing, and especially April, May, and June. Benway writes the novel from all three of their first-person perspectives, which allows the reader to spend a few chapters in each of their minds and get to know them a little bit. Usually, I don't really like this style since voices have a tendency to get all muddled together with no clear differences in tonality or narration, but Benway pulls it off. Each girl's narration is set apart from the others, having its own personality, so that the reader couldn't ever get confused as to who was talking at that moment. Not only that, but the girls came alive from their sister's points of view too. Well done.
- The abilities: of course, this is a big part of the book, and I thought it was well done. To be fair, I love almost every instance where abilities come in to play, but it doesn't always work. Benway wrote all three of these girls not only getting different powers but having different reactions to them. April, for instance, begins fearing the possibility of using these abilities for "evil" and resolves to use them only to do good, although her worrying side decides to spy on her sisters to make sure they're always OK.
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