1 April 2012, Harry N. Abrams
Nominated for the Cybils by Publisher/Author and copy from Abrams
When Julie's dads have to travel to California to help Papa Dad's parents move to a smaller house, Lydia goes along because her mother is going to London and her sister is going to Guatemala. After they pack up the grandparents, the group returns to Pennsylvania via a road trip across the US. They visit a ghost town, catch a ball game in Albuquerque,drop Lydia off in Pueblo, Colorado to visit her father and his new family, visit Daddy's parents in St. Louis, and Julie's aunt in Oberlin, Ohio. It's a fun trip, but one that makes Lydia think about her relationship with her father.
Strengths: This series is one that Notebook Novel lovers will enjoy, and it has a MUCH better story line than any of The Dork Diaries.I like the fact that Julie has two fathers, but it's not a source of constant discussion. Two years ago, when I read the first one, there wasn't as much of a demand for this sort of book, but I'm ordering the entire series now. Big props for mentioning Grandpa's Cheese Barn right here in Ohio!
Weaknesses: I took such a visceral dislike to the pictures of Julie that I never bought this series. She looks alarmingly like a frog. I will have to overcome this, since they are books my students will like!