Book Review: Absolutely Almost

11 Jul

18225037From the author of A Tangle of Knots comes a true coming-of-age story about the importance of knowing who you are and understanding that it is essential to stand up for yourself.  Albie is familiar with the feeling of being almost – almost good at sports, almost smart in school, and almost good enough for his parents.  But when Albie is kicked out of his prestigious private school – not because of his behavior, but because he struggles in school, his parents decide to send him to public school for 5th grade.  And with the help of his not-nanny, Callista, Albie begins to learn what he is good at doing and realizes that being a good friend is one of the most important things.

Another solid choice for librarians, teachers, and kids looking for a book that deals with diversity, Absolutely Almost focuses on standing up for yourself, working hard, and being kind.  During the story, Albie’s mother is concerned Albie may be dyslexic and has him tested.  This situation is handled really well in my eyes, as his mother specifically tells him that a diagnosis might be able to help him succeed in school.  And although the reader finds out later that Albie does not have dyslexia, Graff shows that some kids just need to work harder in school for good grades and that studying for tests is a little different for everyone.  Albie is also half-Korean which is mentioned throughout the book, but is not centered on, creating a diverse character that doesn’t focus on his cultural and racial background, but on who he is as a person.

For kids looking for something similar to Wonder by R.J. Palacio, offer them Absolutely Almost!   Learn more about Lisa Graff when you visit her website!

Title: Absolutely Almost
Author: Lisa Graff
Publisher: Philomel
Publication Date: 2014
Page Number: 288 pgs.

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