One question can best sum up 12-year-old Olivia Bean’s life: What is worse than having a 5-year-old brother who is obsessed with gross trivia and sharing your house with your mother’s boyfriend?
The answer: losing your dad, too. Her dad’s move across the country with “Stella the Stealer” and her daughter, Nikki, Livi’s former BFF, throws Livi’s life into turmoil. Trivia-loving Livi desperately misses watching Jeopardy! with her dad, a nightly tradition that is not the same with mom’s boyfriend, Neil. Despite his many promises to stay in touch, Livi’s relationship with her dad is nearly non-existent since he left. The chance to be on the kids-week edition of Jeopardy! seems to be the perfect opportunity for Livi to reconnect with her father. Can Livi find the confidence in herself to go for it? Gephart addresses Olivia’s situation with a combination of wit and poignancy that perfectly reflects Olivia’s determined yet vulnerable character. As she struggles to reconcile her myriad feelings toward her new situation, Livi must decide what defines her and her family—questions only she can answer.
This tale will have readers cheering for the resilient, resourceful Olivia.(Fiction. 9-13)