My only objection: if the boys' grandmother was a profootball cheerleader in 1972, how can their father be a hippie? He's about ten years younger than I am, and no one in my generation is an honest to goodness hippie. No more hippie parents of adolescents. It doesn't work.
The Melting of Maggie Bean was recommended to me by a language arts teacher. It was a difficult book to read, since Maggie was a dysfunctional girl who coped with stress by eating large amounts of chocolate in her room, but who then started to change her lifestyle. In Maggie Bean Stays Afloat, she continues her healthy improvements, working as a swimming instructor at a summer camp, helping out with Pound Patrollers, and continuing to watch what she eats in a smart way. Her problems now revolve around how the changes in her body change her friendships. When she starts to hang out with older kids at camp, she neglects the friends who stood by her when she was picked on for being fat. Written in a thoughtful and realistic way, Maggie works through the various challenges that she faces and becomes a better person. I usually don't go for character development that much, but something about Rayburn's writing makes me really care what happens to Maggie. I will definitely put Maggie Bean in Love (December 22, 2009) on my order list as well as buy a copy for my reluctant 5th grader.