When fifth-grader Andromeda moves from Brooklyn to a small town, she must deal with all of the issues a move like that could create.
She’s pretty sure she caused the move by accidentally revealing to her school principal that she didn’t live in the correct school district. Her older brother, Ted, blames her for his loneliness now that they’ve arrived in tiny Clover Gap. Her parents, apartment dwellers, have lots to learn about maintaining a house. Annie is sure that she should conceal her fabulous memory from her new classmates and does everything she can to melt into the background. New classmate Zora reaches out to Annie, but that leaves Zora’s other friend, Amelia, feeling angry, vindictive, and very unwelcoming. (Zora is also one of the only black characters in both the book and Clover Gap, a fact that is addressed matter-of-factly and with sensitivity.) Meanwhile, Annie’s best friend from the city gradually loses touch with her. All of these deftly interrelated plotlines are related in the lists that Annie keeps—lists of just about everything—and it’s these, and the fun twist they create, that elevate the tale over the pack, adding an amusing dimension to a well-worked trope. Annie’s slightly tongue-in-cheek voice, revealed in the lists and occasional narrative paragraphs, breathes life into the many characters around her, adding believability.
1. Fresh. 2. Fun. 3. Entertaining. (Fiction. 8-11)