Sing Something True

Fitzroy Bks. Aug. 2021. 156p. pap. $15.95. ISBN 9781646030613.
Gr 3-7–Fifth grader Cassidy’s older sister Sophie has a sensory processing disorder. Their mom and dad depend on Cass to help keep Sophie from dysregulating, which means that Cass must set her feelings and problems aside. She often puts these problems into her “junk drawer” and puts on her “Cassidy Sunshine” face. Most of the time this is OK, because she has her best friend Dani to turn to when she feels bad. Recently though, Cass feels that she has been replaced in Dani’s life with the new girl, Lucy. This becomes more apparent when Dani goes to a sleepover at Lucy’s and returns to school excited to be taking dance class at Lucy’s mom’s dance studio. Other girls in class decide to take hip-hop lessons too, but the lessons are on the same day that Cassidy has voice lessons. Cass feels all of them have become entranced with the “Lucy-factor,” and decides that she must befriend Lucy too so she can feel included again. Unfortunately, all her attempts fail, and Dani does not have her back. Finally, during the sixth-grade concert, Sophie falls apart when it is her turn to read. Cassidy is embarrassed when Lucy witnesses Sophie’s meltdown and laughs at her sister. This event brings all of Cassidy’s bad feelings to the surface and she blurts out her deep-down secret wish. How does Sophie, who is usually the one who needs help, support Cassidy? And how does a lonely robin help Cassidy understand that everyone needs a flock?
VERDICT This middle grade novel hits the themes of friendship and self-discovery. Readers will empathize with Cassidy as she struggles to be a good friend and sister while remaining true to herself.

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