A Patron Saint for Junior Bridesmaids by Shelley Tougas
Thirteen-year-old Mary Margaret Miller gets the news that she is going to be a junior bridesmaid in her cousin Eden's upcoming wedding. She's excited to be included but also uses the news to her advantage because she just punched a boy named Brett Helzinski at school. Typically Mary is a good kid and her mother forgives her because she has enough on her plate with Mary's father already working in North Dakota after the family's Minnesota hardware store had to close.
Mary and her eight-year-old brother Luke are shipped off to their Grandma's for the summer, which is also where Eden, Aunt Maggie and Uncle Will live, so that their parents can find a house for them to live in and their mom can find a job. Mary gets to help Grandma plan the wedding, which is becoming a big event, even though Eden, who has social anxiety, would prefer just a small one. Mary does a great job of supporting Eden in her junior bridesmaid duties, all the while dealing with her guilt of hitting Brett and having to move to a whole new state to live with her family.
It's nice to have a book which features a very close knit family, even though Grandma can be a bully at times (just my opinion). Mary is your typical early teen who is dealing with the troubles of growing up. The Catholic faith is portrayed throughout the book as the family is very devote but not over the top. Mary has to deal with her anger about Brett and her family business going under through most of the book, but she also learns that it is always better to forgive then to keep being mad.