Alfred A. Knopf
June 2010 / ISBN 978-0375863443
Fiction / Contemporary/ Children / Ages 9-12
by Jan Fields
Tess Dobson's life can get a little rocky. Her mother suffers from
bipolar disorder and her younger brother is deaf and frustrated.
Tess' mom has a history of moving them around as she chases wild
dreams. So Tess is less than thrilled when she moves from Texas
to Schenectady, NY. Her mom's new scheme involves opening an ice
cream parlor, and she throws herself and all their money into the
idea. But Tess is sure that eventually her mom's energy will crash
into the depression that has ruined all her schemes in the past
-- only this time, they'll have no savings to fall back on.
Despite the difficult situation, Rose Kent manages to fill the
book with warmth and hope and the incredible power of a community
when it chooses to work together. I also liked seeing a parent with
a clear mental disorder who isn't a villain. She still loves her
kids. Though the book doesn't magically erase the mom's problems,
it does allow us to like her, even while we feel for the strain
her condition puts on the family.