Maid for It

Atheneum/S. & S./. Sept. 2023. 240p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781665905770.
Gr 5 Up–Middle schooler Franny was forced to grow up at a very young age, ever since an incident left her mom in rehab. Now Franny’s mom is three years sober, and the pair live above Mimi’s laundromat, where Mimi hosts a support group for those suffering from addiction. Franny spends her life worrying: about excelling in math, about avoiding mean cheerleader Sloan and basketball player Noah, and about whether her mother will relapse again. To fend off her anxiety, she spends her days meticulously planning. When an accident leaves her mother homebound, Franny adds worrying about money to the list, as hospital bills pile up. As Franny juggles school, friendships, and her anxiety, she decides to take on one of her mom’s jobs cleaning houses to make ends meet. Sumner has created a story that delves into a heavy topic, but in a lighthearted way that is suitable for young readers. Franny is a sympathetic, relatable character, while beautifully crafted relationships drive the plot forward. The majority of the characters are presumed white, but Noah is Black and has two moms.
VERDICT An honest portrayal of the struggles a young girl will go through for her family.

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