Molly & Pim and the Millions of Stars

192p. Knopf. Jan. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399550409.
RedReviewStarGr 3–6—In this Australian import, 10-year-old Molly just wants to be normal. She is jealous of her best friend Ellen's organized parents, clean house, and prepackaged muesli bars from the grocery store. Molly, on the other hand, has a space cadet mother who wanders off into the woods to gather herbs, makes potions, fills the house with odd trinkets, and prepares strange homemade food for Molly's lunch. But as annoying as her mother can be, when she accidentally turns herself into a tree, Molly is devastated—and desperate to get her back. The problem is that she's too embarrassed to tell anyone what has happened, except for Pim, a fellow misfit. When Molly's mean neighbors threaten to chop down her mother's tree, the situation becomes all the more urgent. Ultimately, Molly discovers that love, trust, and friendship matter more than being "normal." Molly and her friends are fully realized characters in a richly developed world.
VERDICT Imaginative middle graders will relish this gentle story with a fairy-tale feel. A stellar addition.

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