Twelve-year-old Izzy is a budding comedian, but her own life is nothing to laugh about. After her parents divorced, her father moved to Boston and remarried–and now they’re having a baby. Her mother is dating Izzy’s dentist, Dr. Gustino, whose rebellious sixteen-year-old son, Ben, Izzy finds slightly frightening. Izzy’s two best friends, Cookie and Pauline, seem to have grown up over the summer and are as annoyed by her as she suddenly is by them. And worst of all, her ten-year-old cousin, Oliver, and his father, her Uncle Henderson, have moved in with Izzy and her mother following the suicide of Oliver’s mother.
Just when Izzy thought things couldn’t get worse, Ben is forced to stay at the already overcrowded house while Dr. Gustino tends to an out-of-state emergency. Izzy feels she’s been helping Oliver deal with the trauma of his mother’s death, but Oliver bonds with Ben immediately, and Izzy is once again left out. When Uncle Henderson disappears, Izzy finds herself on an impromptu road trip with Ben and Oliver, all three of them searching for family and acceptance.
“When Izzy’s uncle goes missing and Oliver, Izzy, and Ben put their fights aside in order to chase him across Massachusetts and New York, the resolution is emotionally satisfying, with the children’s concerns treated seriously and with respect. Izzy’s opinionated voice drives a strong narrative, and Wittlinger does an excellent job of depicting Izzy’s feeling of invisibility. Despite the pain her characters face, the world Wittlinger creates is ultimately an optimistic one in which emotional suffering is a real problem, but not an insuperable one.” –The Horn Book
“This middle grade book by Printz Honor author Wittlinger shows the grief, anger, and outright havoc that suicide can leave in its wake. . . . Wittlinger’s realistic portrayal of loss makes for a satisfying ending.” — Publisher’s Weekly
Charlesbridge Publishing, 2017