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Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
FSG Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780374706876128 Pages, Ages 10-14
Ben's philosophy of life is that there are two categories of things that happen, the all-right stuff and the not-all-right stuff. Ben has always lived with just his dad, Mitch, which definitely falls into the all-right category. When Mitch meets Casey and they decide to get married, that turns out to be all right, too. Then Mitch and Casey decide to adopt a baby from China, and Ben isn't sure which category the whole baby thing is going to fit into. After the baby comes home (it's all right), Casey and Mitch announce that the four of them – as a family – are going on vacation with Casey's family. All twenty-three of them! Ben is sure this will not be all right!
How eleven-year-old Ben finds his place in a crazy-big family makes this a funny novel about family and what it means to be a part of one.
Children's Crown Collection (National Christian Schools Association), Children's Crown Collection, NCSA
Fifteen Words or Less
It was in the just-after-the-holiday-break part of fourth grade when Mr. Kelly, our English teacher, told us to write our philosophy of life in fifteen words or less. I thought for a minute and then wrote, "Some things...