Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge (Hardcover)
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 9781481458429, 208pp.
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Vilonia is determined to prove she's responsible enough to care for a dog in this "sensitive and uplifting coming-of-age" (Publishers Weekly) novel. Being responsible is NOT easy. Fourth grader Vilonia hasn't lost her rain coat in the three weeks she's had it and she's brushed her teeth every night and she's volunteered to be the Friday Library Helper. But all that hard work is worth it if it means she can get a dog. Besides, this dog isn't just because Vilonia has wanted one for pretty much ever. It's also to help Mama, who's been lost in one, big sadness fog for forty-three days--ever since Nana died. But Vilonia read that pets can help with sadness. Now all she has to do is keep the library goldfish alive over spring break, stop bringing stray animals home, and help Mama not get fired from her job. And she's got to do all of it before the Catfish Festival. Easy as pie, right? Tremendous voice, humor, and heart make this debut novel utterly lovable.