With sophisticated language rare in the middle-grade fiction genre, Tara Altebrando introduces young readers to a competitive ball game that takes the children suffering through summer on Darcy Lane by storm. Immediately jealous of her new neighbor, Julia fights with this snobby-seeming girl for the attention of her best friend. The summer doldrums, the buzzing of the seasonal cicada swarm, and the angst and rivalry of adolescence converge in this story told through elegant prose and authentic dialogue. Julia will become the reader’s best friend even as she loses her own, learning powerful lessons about competition, community, and genuineness. Ages eight to twelve.
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