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Thirteen-year-old Eli likes baggy clothes, baseball caps, and one girl in particular. Her seventeen-year-old sister Anna is more traditionally feminine; she loves boys and staying out late. They are sisters, and they are also the only family each can count on. Their dad has long been out of the picture, and their mom lives at the mercy of her next drink. When their mom lands herself in enforced rehab, Anna and Eli are left to fend for themselves. With no legal guardian to keep them out of foster care, they take matters into their own hands: Anna masquerades as Aunt Lisa, and together she and Eli hoard whatever money they can find. But their plans begin to unravel as quickly as they were made, and they are always way too close to getting caught.
Eli and Anna have each gotten used to telling lies as a means of survival, but as they navigate a world without their mother, they must learn how to accept help, and let other people in.
About the Author
Sarah Moon is a teacher and writer. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, with her wife, Jasmine, and their daughter, Zora. She is the coeditor of The Letter Q, a young adult anthology. Her first YA novel is the critically acclaimed Sparrow.
[STAR] “This journey is a rewarding one.” -Publishers Weekly (starred),
“Moon’s heartfelt story walks the line between humor and heartbreak, never shying away from the difficult ramifications of addiction. Tough subjects are addressed here...but the familial love and bonds of friendship always take things to a hopeful place.”-Booklist,
“Raw and realistic. Ultimately, the book feels both personal and beneficial for its intended audience.”-School Library Connection,
“This realistic portrayal of a family in crisis sugarcoats nothing, but offers conditional hope for the future. A compelling picture of an impoverished family struggling with hereditary alcoholism.” -School Library Journal,
“Sweet, sad, funny, heartbreaking, and hopeful, [Middletown] features authentic characters navigating life’s complexities, big and small. A moving and memorable glimpse into one endearing middle schooler’s life.” -Kirkus Reviews,
“The book’s tone is sharp and insightful but never judgmental, and the characters’ voices are distinctive and realistic. Moon offers up powerful and positive life lessons wrapped in an engaging, tender, and satisfying story.”-Horn Book,
“Original, funny, rueful, and most of all, real, Middletown is an engrossing tale told by a deeply likeable tough cookie.” -Emma Donoghue,