Hyperbole reigns supreme!
Indian-American Winnie’s been suffering mightily since her parents’ divorce. Neither one will give an inch, so Winnie’s days are precisely divided between the warring, very peculiar adults, with the leftover day, Wednesday, spent in her magnificent treehouse. In trying to outdo each other by overcelebrating every conceivable holiday, Winnie’s parents consume all of their daughter’s time. She’s now in grave danger of failing fifth grade. In desperation, she retreats to her treehouse, refusing to come down. Her nine school friends, depicted on the cover as being of varying races, unexpectedly join her there, each with a (trivial) gripe with parents, their strike resulting in instant fame. Due to a legal technicality, the kids can stay, but that doesn’t keep the powerless adults from torturing them with loud music and bright spotlights. The third-person tale is presented from Winnie’s perspective, interspersed with recipes, instructions for crafts, and, primarily, her friends’ Post-it comments. By the 14th day, Winnie’s sleep-deprived friends are splintering apart just like her parents did. With guidance from an insightful uncle she finds her voice and helps them all go home, fulfilling not their demands but what each one really needed. Her wayward parents remain unreachable though—until she realizes that she has to apply her determined persistence and dynamic, assertive voice with them too.
Over-the-top but ultimately wise. (Fiction. 9-12)