cover image Stick with Me

Stick with Me

Jennifer Blecher. Greenwillow, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-274862-1

Artistic Izzy, 12, feels out of place in her rapidly shifting world. Her former best friend only wants to hang out with the class mean girl, and Izzy’s parents recently moved the family into their garage apartment so they can rent out their Boston home for a week. Figure skater Wren, also 12, plans to spend her school break on the ice; she’s dismayed to learn that her family will instead be heading to Boston. There, they’ll rent a house near the hospital where Wren’s four-year-old sister will undergo surgery for epilepsy. When the rental situation throws the girls together, and their mothers sign them up for a weeklong drama camp, Izzy and Wren become unlikely confidantes and discover the power of a supportive friendship. Each protagonist is layered and relatable: anxious Izzy uses her art to navigate her emotions, while Wren regrets her habit of speaking harshly before thinking. In chapters that alternate between the girls’ perspectives, Blecher (Out of Place) keenly illustrates the agonies and intricacies of tween friendship, as well as the familial challenges of being 12: “Too old to stomp your feet and whine. Too young to actually decide anything important.” Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Alexander Slater, Trident Media Group. (Nov.) [/em]