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Random House Books for Young Readers, September 2010

Mom and Jake are working their way through the aisles of the grocery with Jake trying to figure out how he can afford cookies on his budget and Mom delighted when he picks out big soft chocolate chips. As they head out to load the groceries in the car, one minute Mom is there talking to Jake and the next minute she's gone. In that moment the guardian angels have decided to hand Jake a lesson or two in what makes family and what makes a friend. After a trip in an ambulance, Mom is examined and found to have a broken leg. The hospital social worker needs someone to come for Jake and they arrange for him to stay with a neighbor, Mrs. Buttermark, and for Jake's grandfather to come to stay until Mom is back in action. Will Jake and his grandfather accept each other? The story here doesn't range far and wide and it has no vampires or fallen angels. Clearly though, Audrey Couloumbis is a student of feelings and the subtleties of relationships. Those little things that connect people, the way they communicate sometimes without words, the way people watch and understand each other and when things go well, know exactly how to respond with what someone else needs, that's what fills these pages. Weaving a story with little stitches is what she does and it takes a fine hand to make it work so well. No chase scenes just human beings finding their way into new territory filled with possibilities, learning to look for the best in each other and hoping to make it all work well. Warm and rewarding. 162 pages Ages 9-13

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