cover image Every Single Second

Every Single Second

Tricia Springstubb, illus. by Diana Sudyka. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-236628-3

Springstubb (Moonpenny Island) contemplates the concept of time throughout this wrenching coming-of-age novel, which explores the complex and often painful dynamics among family and friends. In chapters labeled “then” and “now,” the narrative switches between Nella Sabatini’s present, at age 12, and her younger years. When Anthony, the beloved older brother of Nella’s friend Angela, pulls the trigger in a shooting that leaves an African-American man dead, the incident polarizes black and Italian-American communities and raises the ghost of a tragedy from years before (“ ‘Oh no,’ whispered Mom.... ‘Not again’.... The past rushed up and plowed into the present, a terrible collision, a horrible accident”). The temporal theme unfolds through short interludes from a statue’s perspective, Angela’s father’s post-traumatic stress disorder (“It all comes back over him, and it’s like he’s right there again”), and Nella’s friend Clem’s obsession with time. Nella’s growing awareness of endings and beginnings, the meaning of friendship, and the power of choices combine to create an unsettling, compelling, and heartwarming tale. Art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (June)