Why Can't I Be You (Hardcover)
HarperCollins, 9780062567208, 208pp.
Publication Date: June 19, 2018
“This book is for anyone who has ever felt ‘less than’ or on the outside. That is to say, this is a book for everyone.” —Elana K. Arnold, author of What Girls Are Made Of
"With a clear, compelling voice, Walker creates a believable world where socioeconomic tensions challenge, but never defeat, her well-rounded characters."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Claire Ladd knows that this summer is going to be special. She and her two best friends, Ronan and Brianna, are turning twelve. She is leaving camp behind and gets to do what she wants all day. She feels everything starting to change.
But things don’t always change for the better.
With Brianna’s cousin Eden visiting for the summer, Claire feels like a third wheel. Even though she is only a year older, Eden seems so much more sophisticated and glamorous . . . and when she's around, she takes up everyone’s attention, including Brianna’s.
But that doesn’t explain why things have felt awkward with Brianna ever since she moved to a fancy new house, or why Ronan, who lives in the trailer next to Claire’s, has started acting moody anytime anyone mentions his dad.
Claire has always been happy with her life just as it is, but as the summer wears on and the issues with her friends start to grow, she can’t help but wonder: Would everything be better if she could just be someone else?
About the Author
Melissa Walker grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and is the author of eight young adult novels, including the Violet on the Runway series and Small Town Sinners. In the nonfiction world, she is a magazine editor and writer who works from the comfort of coffee shops in Brooklyn, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. Find Melissa on Twitter @melissacwalker or visit www.melissacwalker.com.
Praise For Why Can't I Be You…
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This book is for anyone who has ever felt “less than” or on the outside… that is to say, this is a book for everyone. Gentle, layered, and big-hearted, Why Can’t I Be You is a beautiful portrait of the complexities of families and friends.”
— Elana K. Arnold, author of What Girls Are Made Of
“The story vividly captures the off-kilter expectations and emotions that arise during the awkward shift from childhood to the teen years.”
“Claire’s voice is infectiously honest and optimistic as she navigates a host of new feelings, including uncertainly and jealousy…a great recipe for all preteens developing their emotional intelligence.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Walker vividly describes trailer park life, showing the good with the bad, from Ronan’s dysfunctional father to the beauty and strength of the close relationships created in Twin Pines Trailer Park.”
— School Library Journal