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Monday, August 20, 2018

Falling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick

Falling Over SidewaysClaire's life is typical of most 8th graders, with the ups and downs of friendships, zits arriving at the absolute worst times, and always feeling like she's in the shadow of her older "perfect" brother.  But she's happy because she's got a great family and a few really good friends that get her through the everyday problems that most adolescents face.  Until one morning...

Something happens.  Something bad.  Something big, and scary, and bad, causing Claire's life to change in ways she never thought possible.  While Claire is eating breakfast one morning, her dad suddenly starts acting strange, and falls over sideways into his chair.  To make matters worse, he started talking in nonsense words and crazy, jumbled sentences.  A panicked Claire can't get her mother on the phone, so she calls 911.

Claire's dad had a massive, debilitating stroke.

The author does a great job of telling the story of how every aspect of Claire's life changes, as well as showing how she works through the stages of grief.  It doesn't have a typical happily-ever-after ending, but it's an ending that is very realistic and touching.

Despite the serious subject, this story, written in first person, is really funny at times.  Claire has a very good sense of humor and it comes out in her observations of what's happening around her at home, school, and at the hospital.

I'd recommend Falling Over Sideways for readers from 5th to 9th grade who enjoy realistic fiction.  Happy reading!

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