Here If You Need Me: A True Story by Kate Braestrup
As a chaplain to the Maine Warden Service, Kate Brastrup accompanies game wardens on search and rescue operations providing assistance both to families of victims and rescuers. Braestrup studied to become a Unitarian minister after her husband, a state trooper, was killed in a car accident, leaving her a widow with four children. Laced with humor, this inspirational memoir tells her journey from grief to compassion.
Calli lives in a family of over-achievers. Every single person in her family, including her parents "go for the gold." Except Calli. She is happy being an average fifth grade kid, but doesn't know how to fit in with her extroverted family, who want her to be an over-achiever, too. Especially torturous is her father's version of the ABC's. Her brother and sister, Alex and Becca, each announce their achievements during the ABC's. But Calli, the "C", does not feel she has anything to contribute. Until, she meets Noah. Noah isn't like other kids. Her approach to Noah changes life for both him and her in ways she could never have imagined!
Along the way, Calli learns that her parents have issues of their own. Her older brother brings some sanity to her world with his understanding of the family dynamic. Becca, meanwhile, has a hidden secret, too.
Calli Be Gold (AR 6.0, Level 4.2) will reach the heart of any kid who doesn't really fit in, whether at school or at home. Michele Weber Hurwitz clearly understands the problems that upper-elementary or beginning middle-school kids have in this stellar debut novel. She cleverly uses humor to offset some of the serious issues her characters face. The combination of humor and pathos made this book a page-turner!
I could not put it down until the wee hours of the morning! This adult librarian was in tears from about half-way through the book all the way to the end. I was also laughing, as well, so I am sure my family thought I was becoming unhinged. I can wholeheartedly say that this book is the best book I have read so far this year. Try it and see for yourself!