cover image Abby, Tried and True

Abby, Tried and True

Donna Gephart. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5344-4089-0

With heartfelt candor, Gephart (The Paris Project) explores the impact of a life-changing diagnosis on a close-knit Jewish family. When Abby Braverman’s best friend and Florida neighbor moves to Israel the summer before their seventh grade year, Abby is sure it’s the worst thing that could happen, until she learns that her own beloved older brother, Paul, 16, must undergo treatment for testicular cancer. Perpetually quiet with an interest in turtles and poetry, Abby wishes she could be as outgoing as her brother was before he got sick. If components of the exposition feel labored, Gephart’s depictions of Abby’s friendship with and attraction to new neighbor Conrad, her supportive family’s Jewish faith, and her affectionate relationship with Paul—the close siblings joke about their moms and engage in fierce Monopoly games—provide a stable backdrop for this story, which is as much about a family’s wearying experience with cancer as it is about a young girl learning to feel comfortable with herself. Ages 10–up. Agent: Tina Dubois, ICM Partners. (Mar.)