Book Review: Dad’s Girlfriend and Other Anxieties

Posted September 22, 2022 by geograph in contemporary, middle grade, review / 0 Comments

Book Review: Dad’s Girlfriend and Other AnxietiesDad's Girlfriend and Other Anxieties by Kellye Crocker
Published by Albert Whitman & Company on October 18, 2022
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Family / Blended Families, Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Depression & Mental Illness, Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / New Experience
Pages: 288
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Netgalley
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Anxiety has always made Ava avoid the slightest risk, but plunging headfirst into danger might be just what she needs.

Dad hasn't even been dating his new girlfriend that long, so Ava is sure that nothing has to change in her life. That is, until the day after sixth grade ends, when Dad whisks her away on vacation to meet The Girlfriend and her daughter in terrifying Colorado, where even the squirrels can kill you! Managing her anxiety, avoiding altitude sickness, and surviving the mountains might take all of Ava’s strength, but at least this trip will only last two weeks. Right?

This middle-grade book takes a regular middle-grader’s anxiety and — takes it over the top. While Ava’s various fears are understandable, mostly focusing on change, the actions she takes during this book are extreme and show how anxiety can warp your thoughts so that these seem like reasonable things to do. As an adult, I personally felt anxious about Ava’s actions, but I think a middle-grader would enjoy the hijinks that Ava gets herself into. I also enjoyed our “foil” character of Z, Ava’s new stepsibling. I’d recommend this to any middle-grader going through changes and overly worried about them. Four stars.

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