Ten-year-old Kate juggles new and old friendships.
Kate lives in a happy household with an older sister, a toddler sister, and her mom and dad, who seem to manage their family (all-white) very well indeed. Kate has no problems with her parents, but she learns that her newest friend, Nora, will soon be moving to California. She also realizes that her best friend, Brooke, might be spending time with Nora and not telling Kate. Meanwhile, Kate participates in her Junior Guides annual food-drive contest with unexpected results. She also makes another new friend: an elderly shut-in lady, Mrs. Verlagen, whom she used to fear just a bit. The story is presented as a Wimpy Kid–style illustrated diary; Kate’s frequent, little drawings, such as an illustration of the bowl of written aphorisms that her family uses as conversation starters, decorate the pages, along with definitions of words such as “druther” and lists. (The cast as presented in her cartoons appears to be a largely white one.) The author inserts a bit of suspense when Mrs. Verlagen loses her beloved cat, but young readers can rest assured that everything will come out well and that Kate will learn more about friendship. The whole book comes across as a breezy, enjoyable excursion, even going to school.
A zippy little visit with a likable 10-year-old. (Fiction. 8-12)