by Cynthia Lord
New York : Scholastic Press, 2010.
Tess lives on an island off the coast of Maine, and she can't imagine any other life than hers, going to the one room schoolhouse where her mother teacher and fishing lobster with her father. But year-round islanders have been moving to the mainland, leaving fewer and fewer kids on the island. To keep their school from closing, a few families decide to take in foster kids, keeping the numbers up enough to satisfy the state. Aaron comes to live with Tess, her sister Libby, and their parents. Tess and Libby imagine what it might be like to have Aaron live with him, but neither of them expect what actually happens that summer.
I read Newbery Honor-winning Rules by the same author a few years ago, so I was really excited to see a new book out by Cynthia Lord. This is the sort of story that I enjoyed reading as a child when, much like Tess, I was reading The Great Gilly Hopkins and Anne of Green Gables. Tess narrates the story, sharing her fears about moving to the mainland, her nervousness about friends, and her attempts at finding good luck. When she misunderstood some of Aaron's actions, I cringed with sympathy for both, understanding (as an adult, especially) where they were coming from. A sweet story I would recommend to readers who enjoy character-driven realistic fiction.