cover image Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom

Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom

Susin Nielsen, Tundra, $15.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-88776-977-1

Nielsen (Word Nerd) has created a narrator as sassy and candid as this memorable novel's title. Smarting from her parents' divorce—her director father left her mother to marry an actress—Violet is fed up with all the "losers" her mother has since dated. When introduced to beau number 10, the pudgy and unfortunately named Dudley Wiener, the 12-year-old decides she "couldn't be a bystander any longer." She pens a letter to George Clooney (her mother, a stylist, once did his hair on a movie set), explaining that she's trying to find a suitable suitor for her parent ("I have a very good feeling about you"), adding that she and her younger sister, Rosie, would make "excellent stepchildren" with "none of the fuss and muss of babies." Nielsen skillfully balances her story's keen humor—Violet's attempts to sabotage her mother's relationship with bighearted Dudley are hilarious—with poignancy. Especially affecting are Violet's struggles to accept her father's new family and her devotion to both her mother and Rosie. A bonus: Clooney makes a cameo. Ages 11–14. (Aug.)