Stick with Me

HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Nov. 2020. 256p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062748621.
Gr 3-6–Blecher preserves the ingredients from her successful debut, Out of Place, and reworks them in this stunning novel. Wren is a talented ice-skater who travels to Boston to be with her little sister Hannah while she undergoes surgery at a local hospital. Her parents rent a house for a week, and Wren moves into the room of a young girl her age named Izzy. Izzy and her family move into the apartment above their garage, and they form a friendship with their new tenants. Wren joins Izzy for her week-long theater camp, and is absorbed into a web of drama that threatens to complicate their relationship. These two unlikely friends soon learn what it means to “stick together.” Blecher has a clear gift for writing about young girls who live on social margins, and the particular struggle of wanting to belong while staying faithful to one’s self. Izzy and Wren are relatable heroines with flaws, impulses, and dreams that will resonate with young readers. Wren’s family is uprooted from their routine, which results in a considerable amount of stress and anxiety as they anticipate the outcome of Hannah’s surgery. Blecher addresses the difficult topic with sensitivity and realism, without sugarcoating the very real effect of medical transitions on families.
VERDICT A smart and emotionally honest book that lays bare the complexities of friendship and of growing up.

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