cover image Trouble at the Tangerine

Trouble at the Tangerine

Gillian McDunn. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5476-1100-3

Eleven-year-old Simon Hyde’s parents’ nomadic lifestyle, and yet another move across the country in their “Vincent Van Go,” has made him risk averse. Having lived in 27 places, Simon has made up a fool-proof plan: Code Name Chameleon. Part one is to blend in with his new surroundings, and part two—perhaps the most imperative of the pair—is to not be weird. Though Simon loves collecting rocks and reading fantasy novels, he can’t chance revealing his true self, especially since there’s been so little stability in his life to begin with. But maybe this time will be different: implementing steps one and two of Operation Rigsby, his new, top-secret scheme, Simon has been researching the best home for his family and has successfully led them to Tangerine Pines. He immediately meets cheery, idiosyncratic neighbors and, upon feeling a spark of “a forever home,” enacts step three: “Stay there forever. This was the most important part—and also the most complicated.” When his neighbor’s necklace is stolen, Simon and his new acquaintance is on the case—and he’ll do anything to prolong their stay. In this quiet story of hope, belonging, and adventure, McDunn (When Sea Becomes Sky) presents Simon’s sincere worries and charming schemes with a humorous, lighthearted approach. Simon reads as white. Ages 8–11. (Apr.)