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Review of This Would Make a Good Story Someday

This Would Make a Good Story Someday
by Dana Alison Levy
Intermediate, Middle School    Delacorte    308 pp.    g
5/17    978-1-101-93817-1    $16.99
Library ed.  978-1-101-93818-8    $19.99
e-book ed  978-1-101-93819-5    $10.99

Twelve-year-old aspiring writer Sara is less than thrilled when Mimi, one of her two mothers, wins a writing fellowship that comes with a cross-country train trip for the family. Sara would much rather spend the summer with her friends at home instead of serving as fodder for Mimi’s writing and enduring forced togetherness with their “New Train Friends” (or NTFs), the family of the other fellowship winner. She rebels in true precocious-kid fashion, by writing in her journal for much of the trip rather than being sociable, and the novel is presented in the form of her diary entries plus notes from other characters. Levy (The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, rev. 9/14, and sequel) once again tells a mostly light middle-grade story about a diverse family, and though the text can get a little preachy as Sara (spoiler alert) comes to appreciate the trip, the occasional discussion of what life is like in a two-mom family feels natural. A loss among the NTFs adds emotional depth, as does a conflict between the moms and Sara’s earnest, sometimes over-the-top activist sister and her boyfriend, both of whom are traveling with the family. Overall, though, this is an amusing romp across the country, full of commonly relatable family quirks: stubbornness, in particular, plays a believable starring role.

From the May/June 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Shoshana Flax About Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, assistant editor for The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College.

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