By Jo Knowles
(Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), Hardcover, 9780805092073, 224pp.)
Publication Date: July 19, 2011
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Bean (née Pearl) and Henry, misfits and best friends, have the strangest mothers in town. Henry’s mom Sally never leaves the house. Bean’s mom Lexie, if she is home, is likely nursing a hangover or venting to her friend Claire about Bean’s beloved grandfather Gus, the third member of their sunny household.
Gus’s death unleashes a host of family secrets that brings them all together. And they threaten to change everything—including Bean’s relationship with Henry, her first friend, and who also might turn out to be her first love.
Jo Knowles is the author of the novels Jumping Off Swings and Lessons from a Dead Girl. She lives in Vermont with her husband and son.
“Knowles has perfectly told an intriguing story of dysfunctional characters who cannot, will not, or are unable to communicate because of fear...fear of learning the truth, fear of hurting others, fear of losing love." --VOYA “…the story […] funnels family oddities, secrets, and personal melodrama into eventual respect for family differences.”--School Library Journal