Let’s Pretend We Never Met

Melissa Walker. Harper, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-256716-1
Moving states and schools midyear has 11-year-old Mattie worried, but when she meets her outgoing and eccentric new neighbor Agnes—a girl just her age—she’s comforted to have made a fast friend. But Mattie quickly realizes that being friends with Agnes at school, where Agnes is called “freak of nature” and “kind of off,” is harder than when they’re alone in their apartment building; as Mattie makes a wider group of friends, she is tested to stay true to what she knows is right: “I like being friends with Agnes, as long as we’re at home and it’s just us.” The story is structured around Mattie’s rich relationships with her parents and her grandmother (who is dealing with old age and memory loss), as well as her own transition from her old friends in North Carolina to the social opportunities in suburban Philadelphia. In this quiet but satisfying piece of realistic fiction, Walker (Ashes to Ashes) lays down real inroads to understanding different ways of being and the challenges and worries that accompany distinct stages of life. Ages 8–12. Agent: Douglas Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/10/2017
Release date: 06/01/2017
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-06-256719-2
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