Monday, August 3, 2015

Absolutely Almost

by Lisa Graff

“Absolutely Almost,” by Lisa Graff, was nothing like what I expected. It’s more along the theme of “Wonder.” You know something isn’t quite right with Albie, but you don’t know what it is. He’s almost good enough, but not quite. He’s an average kid with parents who have very high expectations. He is kicked out of his “fancy private school” due to his grades. He can’t quite get math. He struggles with reading. He’s just average. But he is kind, caring, and compassionate, much loved by his mother, and sort of left floundering by his often-absent father. His new babysitter, Calista, is a lifesaver, although too kid-relatable and probably not responsible enough to last.

The story is told from Albie’s perspective, but even with the limited perspective, we get it. I don’t usually like first person stories, but gifted author Lisa Graff gives us enough to see what’s going on. It’s a good story for kids to be inside another kid’s head and see life the way he does. There’s a lot of emotional situations that work because of the author’s choice of words, characters, and scenes. There are several truths to be discovered in this story. The one that resonates is that kindness and caring are highly valued—being a friend to have friends is important, too. Albie learns and grows, which shows kids that we can learn and grow even if we’re not “above average.” Highly recommended for ages 8 to 12.

Information on author Lisa Graff is at:

Absolutely Almost, Lisa Graff, Albie, school, average abilities, special abilities, Calista, mother, father, finding your way, your talent, your gifts, learning, growing.

Reviewed by:

Penelope Anne Cole
Award Winning Author of Magical Matthew and Magical Mea 
and Mágico Mateo (Spanish)

New:  Magical Mea Goes to School

Coming Soon:  Mia Mágica Va a la Escuela

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