Nominated for the Cybils by Danielle Smith of There's A Book (All opinions are my own and are not meant to reflect the opinions of the entire judging panel.)
The Story (from Amazon copy): Every tween girl thinks her mom is embarrassing at some point or another. But Marigold, whose mother is a performance artist, is different: She knows her mom is embarrassing. In fact, her mother’s last stunt caused such a ruckus that her family had to move. But if her mother made waves as a performance artist in their last town, the boat really starts rocking when she lands a job as the drama teacher at Marigold’s new school. Now instead of hearing rumors about her wacky artist mother, all the kids will know instantly exactly how weird her mom really is. Which leaves Marigold wondering: Is there a friendship that can survive her mother?
The Mafioso's Take: Okay, folks. I'll be blunt. If I weren't a Cybils panelist, the chances of me picking up this book and cracking open the cover would have been, well, absolutely nil. I mean, I hang out in a hive of testosterone here. The only trauma the Don cares to notice is the failure of one of his men to bust an opponent's kneecap. Roses on stages and pretty pink sweater vests? So not gangster.
Which all goes to prove that you should NEVER, EVER judge a book by its cover. People, I LOVED THIS BOOK (even though I had to read it wedged behind a copy of The Hunger Games, the Don's book of the moment.) Barbara Dee's Marigold is pitch perfect tween--from the opening scene where she's hiding out in the school bathroom in her yellow flannel monkey p.j.s because scatty Mom misread the calendar and thought it was Spirit Week/Pajama Day, to the glorious end when... Well, I don't want to spoil the ending for you. Read this book yourself to find out why it's so glorious.
I laughed. And yes, folks, I cried. So it's official: the Middle Grade Mafioso is now the Middle Grade Marshmallow.
If I didn't have a hundred other Cybils books to read, I'd scoop up any other of Barbara Dee's titles (THIS IS ME FROM NOW ON, SOLVING ZOE, and JUST ANOTHER DAY IN MY INSANELY REAL LIFE) in a heartbeat. If you want to learn more about Barbara Dee, you can visit her website here.
And now, off to read 'em and weep (some more.)
LOADS of other good MMGM love from the bloggerific bloggers on my sidebar. Also, the marvelous Natalie Aguirre is interviewing author Anna Staniszewski and giving away an ARC of MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE (which I've heard is hilarious). Click HERE for all the fun.