Publisher's Note:  

From the author of the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots comes an inspiring novel about figuring out who you are and doing what you love.

Albie has never been the smartest kid in his class. He has never been the tallest. Or the best at gym. Or the greatest artist. Or the most musical. In fact, Albie has a long list of the things he's not very good at. But then Albie gets a new babysitter, Calista, who helps him figure out all of the things he is good at and how he can take pride in himself.

A perfect companion to Lisa Graff's National Book Award-nominated A Tangle of Knots, this novel explores a similar theme in a realistic contemporary world where kids will easily be able to relate their own struggles to Albie's. Great for fans of Rebecca Stead's Liar and Spy, RJ Palacio's Wonder and Cynthia Lord's Rules.

Absolutely Almost

by Lisa Graff

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Overall Review:  

As a parent, this is a difficult and often painful book to read.  As a child, it may be a comforting or important book to read. It is the story of a boy, Albie, who tries and works quite hard at school and at making friends, but has limited success. He has positive adults in his life supporting him (thank goodness!), but there are no miracles and small, daily hard things.  However, this is balanced with small, daily good things.

Children's literature is full of adventure, magic, misfits, and heroes, but it rarely takes a close look at a typical, unremarkable individual.  That is what makes this book so valuable; it gives voice to a character that is so utterly real. Ms. Graff voices the story in first person, through the eyes of Albie, and captures the reader with that voice on page one.  This is a book worth reading for many reasons.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  2 religious exclamations; 1 mild obscenity.

Violence/Gore:  Characters think that if another character was a bug it would be fun to squish him; character verbally bullies other characters.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:  

Bullying, difficulties learning.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Adult drinks with dinner.

Reviewed By Cindy
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