By Awnali Mills
Twelve year old Jack and ten year old Pippa’s mother died a few months ago, and their dad seems totally lost. He’s spending all his time at work and leaving all the “mothering” to Jack. But when their electricity goes out and Jack can’t buy Pippa clothes for school, things go from bad to worse. Jack is already eaten up with anger, and Pippa refuses to speak to anyone. Now they have no money? Jack confronts his dad and discovers that his dad has taken drastic steps to fix the problem—illegal steps that there is no coming back from. What’s worse is that now his father wants to involve Jack. Is it more important to take care of his family, or be true to himself?
I really enjoyed this portrayal of two heartsick kids trying to figure out how to cope with their mother’s loss and their father going off the rails. They have so much on their shoulders, but their dependence upon one another gets them through. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good family story (or just a good story in general), or anyone who is grieving or knows someone grieving. Recommended for grades 4-6.