The People We Choose

Holiday House/Margaret Ferguson. May 2021. 304p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823446643.
Gr 9 Up–Calliope’s understanding of relationships is tested during the summer before her senior year. Though she’s been content to live in the quiet woods of her small community with her moms and her two forever friends, Noah and Ginger, Calliope’s worldview changes when a family moves into the spooky Jackson house next door. When she meets Max, he challenges her “no dating rule.” As her 18th birthday nears and the romance between her and Max grows, so does her curiosity about who her sperm donor was. To her horror, the donor is Max’s dad. Calliope relies on the people in her life, including her moms, to determine how to move forward. Detweiler presents complicated issues with positive, healthy solutions. However, readers will seriously have to suspend disbelief regarding who the donor is, and that he ends up being right next door, and the ending wraps up a bit too perfectly. Most characters are white, and Max’s father is white and mother is Black.
VERDICT Less of a romance and more about relationships in general, this is an additional selection for larger collections.

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