Ben and the Sudden Too-Big Family
By Colby Rodowsky
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374306588, 128pp.)
Publication Date: March 20, 2007
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Ben's philosophy of life is that there are two categories of things that happen, the all-right stuff and the not-all-right stuff. Ben has always lived with just his dad, Mitch, which definitely falls into the all-right category. When Mitch meets Casey and they decide to get married, that turns out to be all right, too. Then Mitch and Casey decide to adopt a baby from China, and Ben isn't sure which category the whole baby thing is going to fit into. After the baby comes home (it's all right), Casey and Mitch announce that the four of them - as a family - are going on vacation with Casey's family. All twenty-three of them! Ben is sure this will not be all right!
How eleven-year-old Ben finds his place in a crazy-big family makes this a funny novel about family and what it means to be a part of one.
COLBY RODOWSKY is the author of many distinguished books for children and young adults, such as That Fernhill Summer, which The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books praised as a "character-driven novel about the complicated connections of family." She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
"This sweet and humorous novel explores Ben's "hodgepodge glop" philosophy of life, and in the process, he learns what it really means to be a family." —IRA “Rodowsky is in good form, crafting another book with a likable narrator.”—School Library Journal “Veteran author Rodowsky again demonstrates her skill at bringing a low-key approach to possibly melodramatic events.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"Appealing." --Kirkus Reviews "Encapsulating the noise, chaos, mess and love that are all parts of being in a large family, this novel shows how some 'not all right' predicaments turn out 'all right' in the end." --Publishers Weekly