cover image Trowbridge Road

Trowbridge Road

Marcella Pixley. Candlewick, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0750-7

Drawing comparisons to Bridge to Terabithia, this literary middle grade novel by Pixley (Ready to Fall) follows two lonely children awash in secrets and hurts. When Ziggy Karlo moves in with his grandmother, Nana Jean, June Bug Jordan is watching from a perch in the branches of a copper beech tree. She’s an isolated child whose father died early in the AIDS crisis, before much was known, and whose mother has been lost to mental illness and terror of germs ever since, even making June wash with bleach. Though June is at first envious of the way Nana Jean lavishes affection on Ziggy, a bullied boy with an impressive vocabulary, she soon befriends her fellow outcast and the two escape to “the ninth dimension... a place you can go only if you are magical.” Though both children have been abandoned by parents in different ways, each has a loving adult to turn to at least some of the time, with Nana Jean taking in Ziggy and June’s uncle Toby wanting desperately to help his brother’s family. Heartbreaking and sometimes emotionally difficult, this novel will appeal to young teens looking for something serious to dig into. Ages 10–up. [em]Agent: Victoria Wells Arms, Wells Arms Literary/HSG. (Oct.) [/em]