The Many Mysteries of the Finkel Family
Fans of the Penderwicks and the Vanderbeekers, meet the Finkel family in this middle grade novel about two autistic sisters, their detective agency, and life’s most consequential mysteries.
When twelve-year-old Lara Finkel starts her very own detective agency, FIASCCO (Finkel Investigation Agency Solving Consequential Crimes Only), she does not want her sister, Caroline, involved. She and Caroline don’t have to do everything together. But Caroline won’t give up, and when she brings Lara the firm’s first mystery, Lara relents, and the questions start piling up.
But Lara and Caroline’s truce doesn’t last for long. Caroline normally uses her tablet to talk, but now she’s busily texting a new friend. Lara can’t figure out what the two of them are up to, but it can’t be good. And Caroline doesn’t like Lara’s snooping—she’s supposed to be solving other people’s crimes, not spying on Caroline! As FIASCCO and the Finkel family mysteries spin out of control, can Caroline and Lara find a way to be friends again?
Sarah Kapit lives in Santa Barbara, California with her husband and their goofy orange cat. She earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles, and she’s always happy to talk about the history of women, medicine, and any other history geek topic. She has a longstanding involvement in the disability rights and neurodiversity movements, and serves as chairperson of the Association for Autistic Community. Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen is her first novel.
“Lara and her fifteen-months-younger sister, Caroline, both autistic, encounter a variety of challenges in middle school . . . the family dynamics reveal a deep-seated love and, occasionally, believably faltering tolerance for each other under the guidance of their caring but realistically challenged parents. Kapit keeps the focus squarely on how much the sisters share with their neurotypical classmates.” —Kirkus
“A sensitive and frequently funny read and middle-school story with two distinctive, memorable heroines.” —Horn Book
“Disabilities are an everyday part of the protagonists’ lives and secondary to the issues they are dealing with here, making this a book that will appeal to readers of Cynthia Lord’s Rules.” —School Library Journal
“[Kapit] emphasizes a diversity of experiences—of autism, Jewish traditions (Ashkenazi and Sephardic), and family and school life—showing that there’s no single iteration of any identity while highlighting a close-knit family that prioritizes making amends and learning to recover.”—Publishers Weekly
“Lara is . . . searching for alternative ways to explain what she means. Caroline uses a tablet to talk and yearns to be accepted just as she is. . . . While the sisters process the world a little differently, expressing sensitivity to touch, light, and sound, readers will come away realizing that their need for emotional connection and mutual understanding is not so atypical.”—School Library Connection
“The Finkels are heartwarmingly and universally relatable, for autistic readers, assistive tech users, and non-disabled readers alike. I adored tagging along after Lara and Caroline on their path through family foibles and middle-school mishaps, and I know you will too.” —Sally J. Pla, award-winning author of The Someday Birds and Stanley Will Probably Be Fine
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