cover image The Lump in the Middle

The Lump in the Middle

C. S. Adler. Clarion Books, $13.95 (154pp) ISBN 978-0-89919-869-9

Kelsey, 13, isn't looking forward to spending the summer on the beach with only her family for company. Although she has always had lots of friends at school, at home Kelsey feels like an outsider. Her spoiled younger sister delights in making trouble for Kelsey, and her mother never takes her side. Kelsey meets 15-year-old Gabe on the beach, and in her eagerness to make friends, she tells him she is also 15. Kelsey's lie is revealed when Gabe meets her family, but, to Kelsey's surprise, Gabe appears not to mind. Kelsey's friendship with Gabe is just one of the seemingly unremarkable incidents which strengthen Kelsey's growing resolve to create a new family role for herself. Matter-of-fact writing and convincing characterizations contribute to this novel's quiet appeal. Ages 9-13. (Sept.)