cover image Lexie


Audrey Couloumbis, illus. by Julia Denos. Random, $15.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-375-85632-7

"A big part of growing up is dealing with things we don't like," says 10-year-old Lexie's recently divorced mother when Lexie laments that her mother won't be part of this year's beach vacation. These words ring all the truer when Lexie's father informs her that his girlfriend and her children will be joining them. Lexie must move out of her bedroom into a closetlike space; aloof teenager Ben calls her father by his first name ("I didn't like it that he sounded like he'd known Daddy longer than I had"); and toddler Harris is a pest. Through Lexie's thoughtful, candid voice, Newbery Honor author Couloumbis (Getting Near to Baby) credibly conveys her ricocheting emotions and gradual acceptance of the new individuals in her life; Denos's loose b&w spot illustrations give readers a taste of the casual oceanside setting. Lexie's loyalty to her mother runs deep; when she learns that her father will remarry, she wonders, "Who was going to tell my mother?... I didn't want to know this if Mom didn't." Readers experiencing similar transitions should welcome this incisive yet gentle portrayal of adjusting to change. Ages 8%E2%80%9312. (May)