My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A perfect middle grade read that tweens will be instantly able to relate to.
Thank you to Running Press Books for a finished copy of this book for review purposes!
Book Description (from Goodreads)
Twelve-year-old Caleb is shorter, frailer, and more protected than most kids his age. That’s because he has cystic fibrosis, a diagnosis meaning lungs that fill with mucus and a shortened lifespan. Caleb tries not to let his disorder define him, but it can be hard with an overprotective, prying mom and a big brother who is perfect in every way.
Then Caleb meets Kit-a vibrant, independent, and free girl who lives in a house in the woods-and his world changes instantly. Kit reads Caleb’s palm and tells him they are destined to become friends. She calls birds down from the sky, turns every day into an adventure, and never sees him as his disorder. Her magic is contagious, making Caleb question the rules and order in his life. But being Kit’s friend means embracing deception and, more and more, danger. Soon Caleb will have to decide if his friendship with Kit is really what’s best for him-or Kit.
Vrabel takes a topic that most people are unfamiliar with – cystic fibrosis – and weaves it into a tale of friendship and family that will instantly find a place in the hearts of adult and middle grade readers alike. Caleb, as a boy with cystic fibrosis, is still written as a middle school boy, rather than “a kid with an illness.” He does middle school boy stuff and deals with his condition with typical 12 year old maturity. The info given about CF is shared in an age-appropriate way, and includes details that might read as “gross” but are real parts of the condition and will be so relatable to this age group. There are poignant themes of friendship, family, divorce, and growing up that will make you wish you could know Caleb in real life……..and swoop Kit up to give her a hug.
Highly recommended purchase for middle grade classrooms and libraries.