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CALLI by Jessica Lee Anderson


by Jessica Lee Anderson

Age Range: 12 - 16

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-57131-702-5
Publisher: Milkweed

When one of her two moms is diagnosed with lupus and a new foster sister her own age moves in, things become complicated for Calli.

Life in her Louisiana suburb has been pretty straightforward, with boyfriend Dub lighting up the romance and friend Delia a solid support. All of that goes haywire when new foster sibling Cherish makes a play for Dub, Delia finds a new buddy and Calli finds she is unable to turn to either mom for help. Another foster child is anticipated, and the circumstance, while not overwhelming, begins to really eat at her. Attempts to teach Cherish what it feels like to have her stuff co-opted backfire, and Calli learns the hard way that retribution isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. On the typical teen-angst scale, this is fairly tepid, though it's serious enough to Calli, whose first-person, present-tense narration wrings emotion at every opportunity. Resolution comes fairly easily, as French homework, weekly family outings at a local buffet and "intervention" shopping trips with Delia and her new pal combine with Calli’s admitting her wrong and making an effort to make things right. 

This story about an average girl who rises to some unusual challenges in steady fashion makes for comfortable middle-of-the-road fare. (Fiction. 12-16)