Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Let Me Fix That For You

Erlbaum, Janice. Let Me Fix That For You
July 23rd 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Glad (short for Gladys, thanks to her mother) has trouble making friends in school, and is glad of her younger sister Agnes and her older sister, Mabey. Her mother has moved out, leaving her father with a tough career in tax law as well as all of the household management. Perhaps because of this, Glad spends most of her time at school "fixing" people's problems for them. She eats lunch with "Homework" Harry, a ten year old who skipped grades and keeps from being bullied by selling homework to other students. Glad has a steady stream of people who want help with excuses and other problems. She's even caught the eye of the principal and been reprimanded, although since she is not really breaking any rules or taking any money, she can't really be punished. She sends fake texts from an imaginary boyfriend to Madison, delivers presents to Taye's crush, lets tomboyish Izzy change out of her grandmother's super girly gift outfits at her house before school, and tries to help Sophie deal with the fact that Sophie misappropriated money from the dance account. In the meantime, she has to help out at home and watch over Agnes when Mabey can't. Their father frequently forgets to grocery shop or do laundry, so there is a lot of slack to pick up. When Mabey says that there mother has promised to visit, Glad hope to "fix" her father so her mother will stay. This includes a shopping trip with Sophie consulting on clothing for her father for money. When her father seems to be enjoying his new look and is even singing at breakfast, Glad is concerned, especially since he seems like he might be about to date other women. Eventually, though, Glad has to deal with all of her problems and figure out better ways of dealing with her life.
Strengths: I love the depiction of parents who are there for their children as much as they are able to be, but still can't quite pull it together. I think this is much more realistic than parents who just give up. That chores fall to children is also realistic, and something with which many of my students have to deal. The friend drama is fantastic, and there are a number of different types of problems, such as stealing, older boyfriends, and overbearing grandparents who don't understand children! Glad has a fairly upbeat outlook considering how difficult her life is.
Weaknesses: It's a bit of a stretch that so many students rely on Glad for help, but it makes for an interesting book.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing for readers who like lots of middle school drama.
Ms. Yingling

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