Monday, February 2, 2015
MMGM review: Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
From the author of the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots comes an inspiring novel about figuring out who you are and doing what you love.
Albie has never been the smartest kid in his class. He has never been the tallest. Or the best at gym. Or the greatest artist. Or the most musical. In fact, Albie has a long list of the things he's not very good at. But then Albie gets a new babysitter, Calista, who helps him figure out all of the things he is good at and how he can take pride in himself.
A perfect companion to Lisa Graff's National Book Award-nominated A Tangle of Knots, this novel explores a similar theme in a realistic contemporary world where kids will easily be able to relate their own struggles to Albie's. Great for fans of Rebecca Stead's Liar and Spy, RJ Palacio's Wonder and Cynthia Lord's Rules.
Oh, how I loved Albie. He's sweet, kind--if very aloof sometimes. It seems like the kids around him 'get it', and he's just forever behind the curve. I think we can all relate to that at one point or another in our lives. Only for Albie, it's status quo.
The thing I loved most about Albie was how he managed to impact the people around him: his best friend, his parents, even his nanny Calista. So many people were changed for the better by his kindness.
I will say that Albie isn't really the kid who almost makes it, like is implied in the title... He's more like the kid who always comes in last, which is an entirely different thing. Special needs comes to mind as I read this story. Also, it's definitely a city life kind of book (the nanny business, etc.), and might be tougher for your average kid in my neck of the woods to relate to... Still, I cried more than once, which makes these minor things go away, I say.
Recommended if you liked Wonder by RJ Palacio. Keep your tissues handy.