I love a sad, beautifully written story with a message of hope. Tessa and her new group of friends are proof that we are never alone, even in our darkest times. This novel shines a light on the strength kids possess, both in trying to handle their problems on their own, and in having the courage to seek out help. An overall stunning novel.— Becky
In Shaunta Grimes' middle-grade novel Center of Gravity, a girl loses her mom, and her dad remarries quickly, so she must rebuild her life and friendships.
Tessa is an anxious person, but it's become worse since her mother died a few months ago. To calm herself down she cuts out photos of missing kids—from milk cartons—and keeps them in a file. It helps her feel like she's not alone.
When her dad announces suddenly that he's getting married—and that they're moving, Tessa must navigate new friendships and a new stepmother. She knows she should let go of old habits, but that's easier said than done. Her struggle is one that many readers will understand.
Shaunta Grimes has worked as a substitute teacher, a newspaper reporter, a drug court counselor, and a vintage clothing seller. Before writing for children, she published two science fiction novels, Viral Nation and Rebel Nation.
She lives in Reno with her family, where she writes, teaches, and perpetually studies at the University of Nevada. The Astonishing Maybe marks her middle-grade debut.
Praise for The Astonishing Maybe:
"At first, this is a book about friendship with a touch of magical realism. As it progresses, it becomes a deeper meditation about a parent’s clinical depression from a child’s point of view. Well crafted and unique. Recommended. —School Library Journal
"Middle-schooler Gideon Quinton wasn't thrilled about moving with his family across the U.S. to nowhere Nevada right at the start of summer break. When he arrives to his new neighborhood, he notices there's a girl next door about his age ... and she takes him on (un-Quinton-like) wild, Hobbit-like adventures. For the reader, especially any adult reader, this story is heartbreaking." —Booklist