A coming-of-age story about a boy who is used to flying under the radar, and the classroom of kids determined to help him stand out. This touching friendship tale is the perfect read for fans of Fish in a Tree and Song for a Whale.
"Austin’s narration is conversational and observant." -Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
If Austin picked a color to describe his life, it would be tumbleweed brown. Austin doesn't like standing out. He’s always the new kid, and there's no hiding his size. Plus, Austin has a secret: he struggles to read.
Then Austin meets Bertie, who is razzmatazz. Everything about Bertie is bursting! But the best part of his newest school is the Safety Squad, with their laser lemon vests. Their easy confidence and leadership stand out in the coolest way. Even when things are not so vibrant and life at home makes Austin feel pacific blue, for the first time, he wants to leave a mark. And the more Austin speaks up, the more he finds he may not be that different after all.
About the Author
Jennifer Swender was a classroom teacher for many years before turning to writing full-time. Her debut middle-grade novel Solving for M won the 2020 Mathical Book Prize, the Georgia Children’s Book Award, and the William Allen White Children’s Book Award and was a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and a finalist for the Land of Enchantment Book Award. Together with Paul DuBois Jacobs, she is also the author of many picture books and early chapter books. When she’s not writing, Jennifer develops curriculum materials for students and teachers. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.
"Compellingly conveys the experience of living with an invisible, stigmatized disability.” –Kirkus Reviews
"Hand this book to readers who have enjoyed Gary D. Schmidt’s Okay for Now or Jacqueline Woodson’s Harbor Me." -School Library Journal
"This tale tugs heartstrings and brings a deeper understanding of differently abled students." -Booklist