Rocky Road

Rose Kent, Knopf, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-375-86344-8
Financial troubles, bipolar disorder, and the pain of being the new kid are just a few of the themes explored in this sweet story about 12-year-old Tess Dobson, who is wise—and strong—beyond her years. She has to be: her eight-year-old younger brother, Jordan, is deaf, and her single mother, Delilah, is prone to wacky business ideas, money problems, and "Shooting Stars," Tess's term for her mother's bouts of depression. After being evicted, Delilah moves Tess and Jordan from Texas to Schenectady, N.Y.—into a retirement community. Delilah plans to open an ice cream shop, and although things are going according to plan (Tess and Jordan are making friends in school and in their new apartment complex), Tess feels uneasy: "My whole life I've wanted to trust Ma, but that's impossible if you're around her more than an hour." When Shooting Stars strike on the day of the store's big opening, Tess must rely on her new friends. Though the narrative runs long and things tie up a bit too neatly, Kent's (Kimchi and Calamari) sympathetic heroine and heartening conclusion should satisfy readers. Ages 8–12. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/28/2010
Release date: 06/01/2010
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-375-89528-9
Library Binding - 295 pages - 978-0-375-96342-1
Paperback - 295 pages - 978-0-375-86345-5
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