Booktalks

Amalee Booktalk

  • Grades: 6–8

Scholastic Booktalk

"Williams, best known as a singer and songwriter, writes a poignant, funny debut filled with wholly endearing characters." Booklist

"Known for lyrics that relate heartfelt, often humorous stories, Williams pours that talent into an uplifting story that will grab young readers." Horn Book

"Williams nails the voice of sixth-grader Amalee." Kirkus Reviews

The year Amalee's in 6th grade, her family and her world start to fall apart.

Amalee's family isn't the usual kind, with a mom and a dad and their kids. Her family is her and her dad, and her dad's best friends, Carolyn, Joyce, Phyllis, and John. They met in college and decided they'd stay friends forever no matter what. None of them is married, and Amalee is the only kid. But sometimes the rest of them act more like kids than 42-year-old adults. They always go out to dinner and a movie on Friday nights, and for Amalee it's always boring. But things change when Amalee's dad starts getting really bad headaches, and then gets really sick and has to quit working and stay in bed. His friends set up a schedule to take care of him, but no one talks to Amalee about what's going on, or if her father is going to die or not. They just pretend that everything is fine, and won't tell her the truth. And then her dad starts talking like it would be better for everyone if he did die, and nothing Amalee says seems to change his mind.

And things aren't any better at school either. People think she's mean, her favorite teacher is mad at her, no one wants to be friends with her, and she's afraid to tell anyone about her dad, because she's sure that will just make everything worse. Her life seems to be falling apart, and there's nothing she can do about it.

Amalee has always thought she had the best parent in the world, and now she's terribly afraid she's going to lose him. Is there anything she can do to change what seems to be unchangeable? Is there anything anyone can do?

This Booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart

 

  • Subjects:
    Death, Grief, Loss, Feelings and Emotions, Extended Families, School Life
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