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Hi Americans! Here is a link to to buy this informative and entertaining middle grade book and whatever else you might need.


Hi Canadians! Here is a link to to buy this informative and entertaining middle grade book and whatever else you might need.


If you use this link the author won't make a penny less, you won't pay a penny more, but I will make a few pennies to help me buy more books to review.



In What Happens Next by Claire Swinarski of Wisconsin, we meet Abby age 12, her sister Jade age 15 and her sister Blair age 17. They all live in a small Wisconsin tourist town that is about to be the best viewing site for a total eclipse of the sun. Abby loves astronomy, loves studying the stars. So that is one story line. The town needs the tourist funds to keep the library open, a problem that is near to Abby’s heart because the library is her one place of escape from family problems.



This book is really about family, and especially sisters, and what happens when the eldest sister, Blair who believes her destiny is as a ballerina, is sick, falling deeper and deeper into anorexia. Blair’s illness is a deep concern in the family, but also the subject of lies and denial. Anorexia affects everyone in the family differently, but deeply. This book offers needed insight into that problem, particularly how it can dash hopes for the future. This is exactly the right age group to read about anorexia and understand the problems it causes – and some of the underlying causes of anorexia.



Abby tells Blair’s story while hiding and lying about one of her own problems. This summer Abby finds that her best friends are avoiding her, because of a misguided concern about her sister being sick. Abby needs them to be better friends.



Meanwhile excitement about the eclipse builds with the arrival of a world renowned professor of astronomy. Lacking the advice of her friends, or her parents or older sister who are all wrapped up in trying to save Blair, the Professor involves Abby in a quest intended to solve one of his own decades old family problems. He wants Abby to dig up the library’s time capsule to find a valuable telescope that was buried in the capsule. The telescope was stolen from him decades ago.



Doing what the professor asks involves a big risk for Abby, but she intends to follow through because she extracts a promise from him to introduce her to a book editor. In her misguided 12 yr old mind, she thinks helping Blair change her dream from ballet to writing will save her sister.



So, it is a complex story whose ending reveals much about Abby, about the perils of lying and the perils of having hope dashed. In the End it all works out in a complicated way. Abby, her family and the professor all have significant learning moments, as will all readers of What Happens Next.  Published by Harper it is from them, from bookstores and Amazon. I have placed a link to Amazon above.