Girl on the Ferris Wheel

Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-16939-6
Halpern (Meant to Be) and Vlahos (Hard Wired) spin a sensitive tale about two Minnesotan high school sophomores finding each other—and themselves in the process. While 15-year-old Jewish girl Eliana Hoffman, the eldest of five children, is doing well at Walter Mondale Preparatory High School, a hospitalization last year for depression has knocked her slightly off track academically and completely off the map socially. Enter Dmitri Digrindakis, the son of Greek immigrants and a drummer in a punk band. He literally goes off track when he notices Eliana in gym class after meeting her in a shared film course. Despite Eliana’s misgivings about relationships after being ghosted by friends last year, the pair soon fall into a sweet romance, one that’s fraught with normal teenage tensions yet bound by their mutual love of movies. A focus on cultural identities offers a delightful vehicle for an ensemble cast—particularly Dmitri’s grandmother, Yia Yia, and Eliana’s best friend, Janina—that spotlights personal growth. Though the plot, filled with cringeworthy first-love mistakes, skews light, the novel’s candid approach and alternating voices will appeal to younger audiences while introducing them to classic pop cultural love stories. Ages 13–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 01/07/2021
Release date: 01/01/2021
Genre: Children's
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