Seventh-grader Amelia is facing a boring Spring Break. Her professor father hates to travel so no trip to Florida for them. Amelia goes to the pottery studio where she spends most of her free time. When she gets there, she’s surprised to meet Casey, the studio owner’s nephew. Casey is spending spring break with his aunt Louise while his parents get marriage counseling.

Amelia has never met anyone like Casey. His imagination and creativity fascinates her.  When Casey imagines that a woman is following Amelia and that woman is Amelia’s long-dead mother, things get weird quick. Amelia’s mother died when she was only two-years-old so she doesn’t remember her at all. Could it be that she didn’t die and she’s come back for Amelia? Has her emotionally distant father been keeping a secret from her?

This sweet, simple story about a not-so-boring Spring Break is delightful and insightful. Full of conflicting emotions and active imaginations, it reminded me what it was like to be a tween.  Readers that enjoy a nuanced story full of heart will love this one.

 Kevin Henkes has received Newbery Honors for The Year of Billy Miller and Olive’s Ocean. This is his newest middle grade novel which was released in March 2019. Henkes is also an award-winning picture book author with a Caldecott Medal and two Caldecott Honors.  If you haven’t read any of his books yet, I highly recommend that you do.

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