On the eve of her 12th birthday Addie wishes she were 16.
For Addie, short for Adeline (white, and with a stay-at-home mom and working dad), life is comfortable and benign in Brody’s amiable, lighthearted friendship drama. Addie and best friend Grace worship a boy band and hang out in Addie’s backyard playhouse. But Addie is cosmically frustrated with all the things she wishes for but can’t yet have: a cellphone, a dog, permission to wear makeup, a car. An elderly neighbor’s gift of a wishing box provides the way to skip over the rest of middle school. In a moment reminiscent of 13 Going on 30, Addie wakes to find that she’s 16 and besties with her vlog partner, alpha (and mean) girl Clementine. Navigating the intricacies of driving, texting emojis, applying makeup, attending classes in trigonometry and French, and flirting with boys as a 12-year-old makes for a funny, occasionally poignant tale, firmly from Addie’s viewpoint. Other characters are less well-drawn. Despite a connection with a boy who blossoms as a teenager, Addie’s loss and reclamation centers on best friend Grace, coldly distant in the high school version of their lives. Addie’s sorting out of choices by her younger self is done with a light touch, and readers will be satisfied with the outcome.
Warm, if frothy, acknowledgment of the value of keeping true, longtime friends. (Fantasy. 9-12)