Things That Surprise You
A beautifully heartfelt middle grade novel about twelve-year-old Emily Murphy, who is learning to navigate the new challenges of middle school and shifting friendships, while at home her older sister is recovering from an eating disorder that has affected the whole family.
Emily Murphy is about to enter middle school. She’s sort of excited… though not nearly as much as her best friend Hazel, who is ready for everything to be new. Emily wishes she and Hazel could just continue on as they always have, being the biggest fans ever of the Unicorn Chronicles, making up dance moves, and getting their regular order at The Slice.
But things are changing. At home, Emily and her mom are learning to move on after her parents’ divorce. Hardest of all, her beloved sister Mina has been in a treatment facility to deal with her anorexia. Emily is eager to have her back, but anxious about her sister getting sick again.
Hazel is changing too. She has new friends from the field hockey team, is starting to wear makeup, and have crushes on boys. Emily is trying to keep up, but she keeps doing and saying the wrong thing. She want to be the perfect new Emily. But who is that really?
Things That Surprise You is a beautifully layered novel about navigating the often shifting bonds of family and friendship, and learning how to put the pieces back together when things fall apart.
Jennifer Maschari likes to write books about kids who are brave. She lives in Ohio with her husband and her stinky (but noble) English bulldogs, Oliver and Hank. She is also the author of The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price.
“Recommended for middle grade collections, especially for readers with friends or family members dealing with eating disorders.” -School Library Journal
“A highly devourable novel at once honest, heartbreaking, and hilarious. Maschari deftly captures a middle school landscape fraught with fickle friends, family friction, and shifting social hierarchies, all faced by a hero who struggles to fit in no matter how hard she tries. Emily Murphy is all of us, striving to discover the best versions of ourselves in world where change is never easy and often unavoidable, but worth it in the end.” -John David Anderson, author of Ms. Bixby's Last Day 9780062438928 “Thoughtful and original” -Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
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