The Losers at the Center of the Galaxy

Mary Winn Heider. Little, Brown, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7595-5542-6
Two years ago, Lenny Volpe disappeared. The much-hated former quarterback for the Chicago Horribles, whose repeated concussions from playing caused traumatic encephalopathy, also happens to be Winston and Louise’s father. Ever since then, Winston, now an eighth grader at Subito School, has resisted “dying from loneliness” thanks to two things: his tuba, and his friend Frenchie LeGume, a fellow tuba player who has vitiligo. Suspecting that their teachers are part of a criminal ring, Frenchie has enlisted Winston to help investigate. Seventh grader Louise, meanwhile, lives for Science Club despite its annoying members; for the past two years, she has been “working on a cure for brain injuries.” But Louise now has an additional mission: rescuing the newest attraction at Horribles games, a caged bear that paces on the sidelines and which reminds her of their dad’s constant pacing before he left. Hurt by their father’s absence as well as their mother’s seeming indifference toward them, the Volpe siblings are relatable as they shut each other out; their journey toward reconnecting is well worth the ride. Heider skillfully interweaves seemingly disparate threads into this character-centered, heartfelt story, culminating in a satisfying conclusion. Ages 8–12. Agent: Tina Dubois, ICM Partners. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/09/2021
Release date: 03/16/2021
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-1-4847-8056-5
Book - 978-1-4847-8106-7
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