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About the Author

AUDREY COULOUMBIS's first book for children, Getting Near to Baby, won the Newbery Honor in 2000. Audrey is also the author of several other highly acclaimed books for young readers, including The Misadventures of Maude March (which was named a Book Sense 76 Pick, a New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing Selection, and a National Parenting Publications Gold Award winner), Love Me Tender (a Book Sense Summer 2008 Pick) and Jake (A Parents' Choice Recommended Award Winner and A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Winner). Audrey lives in upstate New York and Florida.


Gr 3-5-Spending time at the beach house on the Jersey shore is filled with tradition and ritual, and 10-year-old Lexie has always loved it-until this year. It's the first summer after her parents' divorce, and everything has changed, especially when she discovers en route that she and her dad won't be alone. He neglected to tell her that his new girlfriend and her sons will be spending the entire week with them. Lexie finds herself sharing a small space with a woman who doesn't know the house rules and who sounds whiny; an adolescent boy; and an eternally grubby preschooler. She also sees a side of her father that is new to her. Lexie makes a keenly observant narrator, a believable only child who has spent much more time around adults than the average kid. Tuned in to emotions, both hers and those of the people around her, she makes a fine reporter as the two families work toward creating a new kind of normal. The characters seem remarkably real. Each one is flawed but also, by turns, warm, sympathetic, and likable. The action is largely interpersonal, yet the depiction of the ebb and flow of family life by an insider turned observer is a memorable testament to its importance in our lives. Readers will continue to think about Lexie's family and their own long after reading the last page.-Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library District, Elgin, IL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, June 2011:
"As she did in Jake (BCCB 12/10), Couloumbis demonstrates her skill at writing with quiet understanding and unstudied polish for younger readers. Her ability to walk through complicated emotional dynamics in kid-accessible impressive, making Lexie a perceptive narrator but not requiring her to be implausibly sophisticated."

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