cover image Lucky Few

Lucky Few

Kathryn Ormsbee. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5528-2

Stevie Hart, a 16-year-old diabetic, and her best friend, Sanger, classify themselves as “Normal Types” and not the “Granolas” and “Blue-Jean Jumpers” of their homeschool co-op in Austin, Tex. Aside from failing trigonometry, Stevie’s biggest concern is the danger to her beloved Barton Springs by a company threatening its water supply. Her activism fills her days until she meets Max Garza, a boy her age who enlists Stevie and Sanger in completing a challenge meant to help him overcome his fear of death after two close calls. Max’s startling honesty and interest in Stevie are welcome additions to her life, yet they drive a wedge between Stevie and Sanger, whose parents face major decisions after being asked to leave the homeschool co-op because they’re lesbians. This second novel from Ormsbee (The Water and the Wild) shines in its offbeat humor (of Stevie’s brother: “Girlfriends and devotees were drawn to him like hipsters are drawn to truffle oil”). The languid plot drags in places, but the sincere reconciliation of Stevie, her friends, and members of the co-op tenderly illustrates Ormsbee’s theme of embracing life’s unexpected moments. Ages 14–up. Agent: Beth Phelan, Bent Agency. (June)