CALLI BE GOLD by Michele Weber Hurwitz


Age Range: 8 - 12
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Eleven-year-old Calli wishes she could be gold—at anything, because then maybe her helicopter parents might finally be satisfied with her. Unfortunately, she doesn’t stack up well against her older brother, Alex, a high-school basketball star, or her older sister, Becca, a figure skater. Her parents focus solely on accomplishments, with her father scouting opposing basketball teams and endlessly coaching Alex and her mother managing the older teens’ hectic schedules with a calendar (and a steering wheel) liberally pasted with Post-its. But things are more complex than the frustrated girl understands. Becca and Alex are feeling the pressure, too, and Becca, especially, is starting to balk. Calli’s talents clearly lie outside the athletic realm. She meets a second grader, Noah, with many problems, possibly related to Asperger’s, and takes him under her wing through a new peer-helper program at school. Empathetically guiding him, she helps ease his difficult way while at the same time trying to live up to her parents’ unrealistic expectations. Calli’s often-insightful first-person narration provides a thoughtful, child-eyed view look at how adults too often try to find success through their children’s achievements. The sometimes over-the-top depiction of stage parents pokes gentle but oh-so-true fun at them, adding to the appeal of this amusing debut. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 5th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-385-73970-2
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2011


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