Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice.
Smart Cookie by Elly Swartz. 273 p. Scholastic Press/ Scholastic Inc., January 30, 2018. 9781338143584.
Publisher synopsis: Sometimes you need to keep a few secrets.
Frankie knows she'll be in big trouble if Dad discovers she secretly posted a dating profile for him online. But she's determined to find him a wife, even if she ends up grounded for life. Frankie wants what she had before Mom died. A family of three. Two is a pair of socks or the wheels on a bicycle or a busy weekend at the B&B where Frankie and Dad live. Three is a family. And Frankie's is missing a piece.
But Operation Mom is harder to pull off than Frankie expects. None of the Possibles are very momish, the B&B's guests keep canceling, Frankie's getting the silent treatment from her once best friend, and there's a maybe-ghost hanging around. Worst of all, Gram and Dad are definitely hiding secrets of their own.
If a smart cookie like Frankie wants to save the B&B and find her missing piece, she's going to have to figure out what secrets are worth keeping and when it's time to let go.
First Line: Sometimes to fix your family, you need to keep a few secrets.
Page 57: "Hey, it's me," I whisper into my cell phone so none of the guests can hear me.
I say nothing. With my charcoal pencil, I shade the unicorn's tail in the mural I'm drawing on the wall in my closet. Dad doesn't exactly know about it. Not sure it would make everyone feel at home at the Greene Family B&B.
"Frankie?" Elliot asks.
Lucy tucks her nose under my leg, hoping for more cheese. "Yes. Who else says, 'it's me'?"
"I guess no one. How'd it go?' He asks between two huge, frog burps.
I adored Elly's debut Finding Perfect and so do my students. I also have to say she had great swag for that book. I keep my Finding Perfect ruler on my desk for kids to borrow and they always get a kick out of using it.