Release Date: May 27, 2014
Age Group: Middle Grade
Summary: Nola Sutton has been best friends and neighbors with the Swift boys for practically her whole life. There’s the youngest, Kevin, who never stops talking; the oldest, Brian, who’s always kind and calm; and then there’s Canaan, the ringleader and Nola’s best-best friend. Nola can’t imagine her life without the Swift boys — they’ll always be like this, always be friends.
But then everything changes overnight.
When the Swifts’ daddy leaves without even saying good-bye, it completely destroys the boys, and all Nola can do is watch. Kevin stops talking and Brian is never around. Even Canaan is drifting away from Nola — hanging out with the neighborhood bullies instead of her.
Nola just wants things to go back to the way they were — the way they’ve always been. She tries to pull the boys back to her, only the harder she pulls, the further away they seem. But it’s not just the Swifts whose family is changing, so is Nola’s, and she needs her best friends now more than ever. Can Nola and the Swift boys survive this summer with their friendships intact, or has everything fallen apart for good?
Nola’s struggle to save her friends, her unwavering hope, and her belief in the power of friendship make Kody Keplinger’s middle-grade debut a poignant story of loss and redemption.
My Thoughts: Whoa, I raced right through this one. I do not read much middle grade but if its Kody Keplinger, I’m going to read it! HA!
We are introduced to Nola who lives with her mom and her mom’s boyfriend visits quite a bit, so he is there a lot too. She lives next door to the Swift Boys. There a few of them. Plus their parents of course.
Nola is the closest to the boy her own age, Canaan. They have been best friends since they were real little and even though they aren’t even teenagers yet, they have been best friends forever in their eyes.
One day Nola sees their father leave. That sets things in motion and things go crazy for The Swift Boys. They get sad, they get mad, they don’t understand or know where their father went. So, Nola gets it in her head to find out. All the boys are acting differently now and Nola can’t stand it. She ends up hanging out with some of the other neighbor kids in the meantime.
Nola also gets to spend more time with her grandma. In her spare time she completes neighborhood jobs that Canaan was supposed to help with so they can save up money to go to the Circus. Canaan isn’t around much because he’s pretty much got new friends, a way to rebel I suppose.
Even though this is middle grade, I really liked it. I thought it was cute and I was sucked right into the story. I really loved Nola and I just had to know what happened to her next.
Overall: Cute, realistic novel! If you don’t read much middle grade, you should definitely read this one! You won’t regret it! Heartfelt story with funny and sad moments! I really enjoyed this one! I'd probably give this 4.5 for a middle grade book!
Cover: Its adorable!!! Love how she is looking over the fence at them! This cover is really cute!
What I’d Give It: