The Friendship Experiment

Erin Teagan. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-544-63622-4
Scientifically minded Madeline Little, an 11-year-old with an inherited blood-clotting disorder, is beginning middle school with two chips on her shoulder. One is fueled by resentment that her best friend has transferred to a private school. The other involves her anger over her parents’ decision to sell her scientist grandfather’s house now that he has died. Madeline’s feelings emerge as sarcasm and meanness toward her peers, but after a series of disasters, she recognizes that although she shares her grandfather’s passion for microbiology, she hasn’t followed his advice: “The most important thing in life is to be kind. Always kind.” This portrait of a complicated preteen contains perhaps a few too many issues and simultaneously occurring crises to be thoroughly explored and convincingly resolved, including Madeline’s struggles with friends old and new, a serious mishap at her father’s lab, and her older sister’s brush with death. Even so, first-time author Teagan underscores the importance of compassion and forgiveness as she provides thoughtful insight into a girl working hard to try to maintain control over a life filled with unwelcome developments. Ages 10–12. Agent: Marie Lamba, Jennifer De Chiara Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2016
Release date: 11/01/2016
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-544-63537-1
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