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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 320
Themes: mental illness, self-reliance, foster care, poverty, coming of age
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 22/Sep/2020
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? “Tug at the heartstrings and tickle the funny bone…This warm tale is definitely one for the keeper shelves. Highly recommended.”—School Library Journal, starred review

Thirteen-year-old Robbie leads a double life. It's just Robbie and his dad, but no one knows that his dad isn't like most parents. Sometimes he wakes Robbie up in the middle of the night to talk about dying. Sometimes he just leaves without telling Robbie where he’s going. Once when Robbie was younger, he was gone for more than a week. Robbie was terrified of being left alone but even more scared of telling anyone in case he was put into foster care. No one can know. Until one day when Robbie has to show the tough new girl, Harmony, around school. Their first meeting ends horribly and she punches Robbie in the face. But eventually they come to realize that they have a lot more in common than they thought. Can Robbie's new friend be trusted to keep his secret?

Kenneth Oppel, award-winning author of the Silverwing trilogy
“Harrowing and heartfelt.”
Teresa Toten, Governor General’s Literary Award–winning author of The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
“You’ll cheer our hero on while your heart aches for him. This is an original and deeply moving personal journey.”
Kirkus Reviews
“Narration unfolds with wry, self-deprecating humor...An entertaining journey.”
School Library Journal, starred review
★ “Tug at the heartstrings and tickle the funny bone…This warm tale is definitely one for the keeper shelves. Highly recommended.”
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“A superb middle grade novel that focuses on the effects of poverty and mental illness on children and their families. Not only is it a realistic portrayal, but its being written in a nonjudgmental and compassionate way allows children to better understand a very serious topic. Highly Recommended.”

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