The Great Treehouse War

288p. illus. Philomel. May 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399175008. POP
Gr 3–6—Winnie's mom and dad are getting divorced. They are extremely competitive, both in their careers and their parenting styles, and splitting time with Winnie is no exception. They insist that their custody agreement be divided right down the middle, with each parent getting the exact same amount of time. Winnie will spend three days at her dad's house and three days at her mom's. That leaves Wednesdays, and since Winnie's parents can't split their daughter in half, they decide to build an amazing tree house between their properties. On Wednesdays, Winnie will live there alone. As her parents' competitiveness ramps up, Winnie finds that her Wednesdays are sacred. They're her only break from the custody craziness. When her time there is threatened, Winnie goes on the offensive and stages a tree house standoff. She's not coming out until her parents see her way of thinking, and nine of her closest friends join her with demands of their own. It's kids vs. parents in epic fashion, and Graff's not-quite-fantasy world is every kid's dream. All of the frustrations young people feel with their parents during a divorce are hilariously hyperbolized in a way that will make children feel vindicated and less alone. The epistolary format allows readers to get to know all of the characters through creative footnotes, sticky notes, newspaper articles, emails, and tiny drawings.
VERDICT Graff's whimsical, original work is a breath of fresh air. A strong addition to any middle grade collection.

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