Roll with It

Jamie Sumner. Atheneum, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5344-4255-9
Headstrong 12-year-old Lily “Ellie” Cowan loves to bake. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, Ellie heads to the kitchen when she gets frustrated with her overprotective mom, her hovering full-time aide, and her absent father. After Ellie’s grandfather, who has dementia, drives his car into the local supermarket, Ellie and her mom pack up their Nashville home and move into her grandparents’ tiny trailer in Eufaula, Okla. Soon, Ellie meets free-spirited neighbor Coralee and eccentric schoolmate Bert; their acceptance helps her to cope with her new school, which is far from wheelchair-friendly. Drawing on her own experiences with her son, who has cerebral palsy, debut author Sumner doesn’t sugarcoat Ellie’s daily challenges—social, emotional, and physical—including navigating showers and crowded classrooms. Sumner also makes it clear that Ellie is a regular kid who dreams of becoming a chef, which is conveyed partly through letters that Ellie writes to various culinary experts throughout the book. In addition, Sumner deftly explores universal difficulties of fitting in and following one’s passions. Ellie is easy to champion, and her story reminds readers that life’s burdens are always lighter with friends and family—and a good piece of pie—at the ready. Ages 10–up. Agent: Keely Boeving, WordServe Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/25/2019
Release date: 10/01/2019
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 978-1-5344-4256-6
Ebook - 978-1-5344-4257-3
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