THE MOST PERFECT THING IN THE UNIVERSE by Tricia Springstubb

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Loah is a homebody. She loves her old house–especially the turret–and even takes the time to repair and care for it. After all, someone had to, and her mother is far too busy traveling to the Arctic Tundra, searching for rare birds and combating climate change. But Loah’s comfortable home is threatened when a building inspector arrives at her door, demanding to know why her mother hasn’t made the required repairs to bring the property up to code. Worse, the people who care for Loah when her mother is away have a medical emergency that takes them away from home, leaving Loah entirely on her own. When she meets a girl with a troubled home life of her own, Loah finally finds the courage to venture out of her shell. Maybe she doesn’t need to travel to the far reaches of the earth to save the world–or at least one person in it. And the longer her mother’s absence stretches, the more Loah suspects that the fierce, world-traveling, environmental heroine might need saving, too.

A sweet, quirky coming-of-age story about a girl realizing that who she is has always been enough. I loved the concept of “everyday adventures” that runs through this story, the contrast between the Arctic explorer mother and self-professed homebody daughter. The characters are all a bit odd (in a delightful way) and though the story moves at a leisurely pace, I was sufficiently invested in them that I read the book in a single sitting. I’d recommend it to middle grade readers (it felt young–4th-6th grade, maybe even 3rd) who enjoy realistic fiction with a bit of a quirky tone (like you’d find in THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY or the Lemony Snicket books).

The Most Perfect Thing in the Universe: Springstubb, Tricia: 9780823447572:  Amazon.com: Books

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