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by Kate DiCamillo RELEASE DATE: March 5, 2024

Tenderly resonant and memorable.

Ferris finds herself in the midst of several love stories during the summer before fifth grade.

Emma Phineas Wilkey’s moniker comes from the circumstances of her birth: under the Ferris wheel at the fairground. Her contained world, centered around her family and best friend, is filled with kindness, humor, and singular personalities, while the indeterminate late-20th-century small-town setting feels like a safe place from which to observe heartbreak and loss. Ferris’ architect father and her pragmatic mother, on break from teaching high school math, anchor her home life, along with Pinky, her hilariously ferocious 6-year-old sister, and Charisse, her grandmother, who claims to have seen an unhappy ghost in their big old house. Ferris’ best friend, Billy Jackson, whom she’s loved since kindergarten, hears the music of the world: “The whole world is singing all the time.” Ferris, serious and sensitive, is attuned to the ways that the vocabulary words they learned in Mrs. Mielk’s fourth grade class describe moments in her life. DiCamillo’s gift for conveying an entire person and world in a few brushstrokes of storytelling provides depth and quiet magic to this account of an eventful summer in which a ghost is appeased, an outlaw (Pinky) is somewhat reformed, and an uncle and aunt are reconciled. Ferris experiences two surprising moments of transcendence and becomes aware of the ways love suffuses everything. Characters are cued white.

Tenderly resonant and memorable. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 5, 2024

ISBN: 9781536231052

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2024

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