In this beautifully constructed middle grade novel, Lauren's autistic older brother has recently been sent to a therapeutic boarding school, and it seems to Lauren that her parents are unfairly 'living it up' now that he's gone.
Lauren joins a simplicity group at her Quaker school and recruits Sierra, her new neighbor, for the group. She misunderstands the group's anti-materialism mission and slowly begins to take things from her parents and to shoplift, using the money she gets selling stolen goods to give to kids on the autism spectrum.
Meanwhile, foster kid Sierra has been in a toxic relationship with both of her parents, as an enabler and caretaker. Sierra realizes she's falling into the same enabling patterns with Lauren. And Lauren must learn that what she is doing is not fighting injustice, however good her intentions.
Told in alternating viewpoints between Sierra's verse chapters and Lauren's prose chapters, this is a story about fairness for young readers first grappling with an unequal world.
About the Authors
Cordelia Jensen is the author of the YA novel-in-verse Skyscraping, which earned a starred review from Booklist (“Exquisite free-verse poems . . . illuminating and deeply felt”). This is Laurie Morrison’s first novel.
Both authors live in Philadelphia and received MFAs in writing for children and young adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
"Thoughtful readers will find a lot to like here--sadness, suspense, even humor. They may even pause to consider their own privilege."--School Library Journal
"Each character is well defined . . . Readers will hope for a better life for both girls. This middle grade novel will find a ready audience in most libraries."--VOYA Magazine
"Sierra's narrative, in poetry, captures her spare, cautious, and constrained life. Lauren's prose is rich and descriptive, much like her own experiences. Together, the contrasting narratives tell a touching story about friendship, loyalty, and resilience that will have lots of appeal."--Booklist
"Two authors combine their efforts to relate the intertwined tales of a pair of young teens in trouble... Many of the complications of human behavior are on display here, some of them painful to navigate."--Kirkus Reviews
"Like a kaleidoscope, Lauren and Sierra's shifting perspectives will make you look at the world from different angles, transforming in unique and beautiful ways. This story shines."--Lisa Graff, author of Lost in The Sun
"This should hit the mark for middle grade readers who enjoy life's complexities paired with the intrigue of secrecy."--Erin E. Moulton, author of Flutter
"An inventive and emotional story about family and friendship."--Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery Honor winner for Hello, Universe