The Puttermans Are in the House

­HarperCollins. Jan. 2023. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780063034433.
Gr 5 Up–Sammy and Matty Putterman are twin baseball legends and Houston Astros superfans. When Hurricane Harvey devastates their home and they are forced to move in with their extended family, their twin relationship fractures even more than it had been before. As Matty grows closer with his cousin Becky and Sammy struggles to find her place as a baseball player and an individual separate from her brother, the whole family works to decide how to move forward in the wake of the destruction from the hurricane. Themes of grief, fitting in, family relationships, and sexual identity shine in this baseball-focused book, making it more a story of growing up than a sports tale. The characters are authentic and well developed. Becky’s excitement over finally getting a social media account, Matty’s struggles with his emotions surrounding his first and second kiss, and Sammy’s overwhelming grief about all their losses ring very true and young readers will relate to their trials and tribulations. While the story is character driven, there are enough plot elements to keep readers interested in what happens next, and the narration by each of the tweens brings unique perspectives to each chapter.
VERDICT This resonant story of hope, family, and finding yourself will be a hit. Recommend this to readers who enjoyed Joan Bauer’s Soar, and fans of heartfelt realistic fiction.

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