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every birthday, with every fallen eyelash, shooting star and fluffy
dandelion, Evyn has wished for a mother. Only she didn’t
expect to get one in the form of her father marrying a woman with
six children.

Don’t get the wrong idea. This isn’t a Cinderella story
with a wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters. In fact,
Evyn’s new stepmother Eleni is a pretty nice person, and her
six stepsiblings --- Thalia, Linus, Ajax, Clio, Cassi and Phoebe
--- don’t treat her like an alien or make her clean the house
or sleep in front of the fireplace. But even though her new family
is loving, if a little loud, Evyn still has a lot to get used

When Evyn’s father Birdie and Eleni got engaged, Birdie moved
Evyn and her brother Mackey from Maine to Massachusetts. Eighth
grader Evyn is in a new school, and the girls who befriend her are
only interested in finding out who hot Ajax likes. Everything she
wears, says and does at school seems to be wrong, and she
can’t talk to her best friend Jules about it because Jules is
too busy going to parties and hanging out with all the people Evyn
thought they hated.

At her loneliest, Evyn talks to her mother. Evyn doesn’t
really remember her mom, who died in a car accident when Evyn was
just one year old, but Evyn imagines that she’s there
listening and even has a nickname for her: Stella. Sometimes Stella
has great things to say, and when times are tough for Evyn,
Stella’s advice is to bounce: Put a bounce in your step, let
bad things bounce off you. With so much changing at once, though,
Evyn can only do so much bouncing.

Does her dad still love her mom even though he married Eleni? How
is she going to get the mean girls at school to leave her alone?
Why does her best friend Jules seem to have changed so much? And
when Eleni announces her pregnancy, where are they going to put
another kid?

All the bouncing sometimes makes Evyn a little nauseous, but with
her smarts and support from her new family, she is able to make a
life for herself in Boston. Even though she misses Maine, she
learns a lot about what makes a family and how you can still love
your brothers and sisters even when they annoy you. It looks like
Evyn will adjust after all, but what is her silent,
never-stops-eating older brother doing in a school production of
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”?


Reviewed by Carlie Webber on October 18, 2011

by Natasha Friend

  • Publication Date: September 1, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • ISBN-10: 0439853508
  • ISBN-13: 9780439853507