cover image Rule of Threes

Rule of Threes

Marcy Campbell. Chronicle, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-7972-0123-8

Twelve-year-old Maggie believes that “three is perfect”: her immediate family has three members, as does “the BFFs,” the interior design company that Maggie created with best friends Rachel and Olive. But things have felt weird since the beginning of sixth grade. Rachel, who wants to be known as Rakell, suddenly bows out of their design projects, including the school-wide decorating competition that Maggie is determined to win. And Maggie’s beloved grandmother, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, sometimes doesn’t recognize her. The girl’s carefully organized life is thrown into further disarray with the arrival of Tony, her 13-year-old half brother, who is staying with them while his mother is in rehab. Tony’s existence is a shock to Maggie, and though she initially finds him intrusive, the two slowly become friends. Threaded with relevant design precepts, Campbell’s (Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse) engaging tale of redefining family is anchored by occasionally prickly Maggie’s voice as she learns to loosen her own rules and find harmony in the imperfect. Ages 10–16. [em]Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May) [/em]