Last spring, Pansy chickened out on going to spring break camp, even though she’d promised her best friend, Anna, she’d go. It was just like when they went to get their hair cut for Locks of Love; only one of them walked out with a new hairstyle, and it wasn’t Pansy. But Pansy never got the chance to make it up to Anna. While at camp, Anna contracted meningitis and a dangerously high fever, and she hasn’t been the same since. Now all Pansy wants is her best friend back—not the silent girl in the wheelchair who has to go to a special school and who can’t do all the things Pansy used to chicken out of doing. So when Pansy discovers that Anna is getting a surgery that might cure her, Pansy realizes this is her chance—she’ll become the friend she always should have been. She’ll become the best friend Anna’s ever had—even if it means taking risks, trying new things (like those scary roller skates), and running herself ragged in the process.
Pansy’s chasing extraordinary, hoping she reaches it in time for her friend’s triumphant return. But what lies at the end of Pansy’s journey might not be exactly what she had expected—or wanted.
Extraordinary is a heartfelt, occasionally funny, coming-of-age middle grade novel by debut author Miriam Spitzer Franklin. It’s sure to appeal to fans of Cynthia Lord’s Rules and will inspire young friends to cherish the times they spend together. Every day should be lived like it’s extraordinary.
I liked this book. Liked it enough to give it a 4 star review. I particularly loved the feeling that you got when you read this - like anything was possible through the eyes of a child. Her ability to change in the hopes that it would change her friend's outcome in life, was incredible. I have my 10-1/2 year old reading this right now. She is only about 1/3 of the way through but she likes it as well. Of course, she focused on a few different aspects of the story than I did. (which I honestly hoped for) She was disturbed by the fact that a young girl ("With no license to cut hair MOM!") cut her hair and now has to live with uneven hair - and in my daughter's mind "That can't be pretty Mom." But she is also relating to it by comparing their friendship in the book to a few of her own. All in all, I would say a remarkably good book.
Miriam Spitzer Franklin is a former elementary and middle school teacher who currently teaches homeschooled students and is a writer in residence with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Extraordinary, her debut middle grade novel, was inspired by a niece who suffered a brain injury after a high fever led to a stroke. Miriam lives with her husband, two daughters, and two cats in Charlotte, North Carolina.
I asked this author :
"What are you reading right now?"
I am currently reading Freak the Mighty, by Rodman Philbrick.
"What author did you love as a kid or love right now?"
My all-time favorite writer is E.B. White, same as when I was a kid! I am also a huge Harry Potter fan and the newest writer I love is Jandy Nelson (author of The Sky is Everywhere). When I was growing up, I also loved Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume.