Is there anything more fun than discovering a writer you’re not familiar with and falling in love with her work? That’s what happened to me when I accidentally discovered Bounce by Natasha Friend, a book that came out in 2007 from Scholastic Press.
Don’t ask me how, despite being an avid YA reader/writer, I didn’t know about this award-winning author who has been called “the Judy Blume of today,” but somehow, I didn’t.
That all changed when my husband, who scours recycling bins for aluminum cans to donate to the firefighters’ fund, discovered this book tossed into one of the bins. He brought it home to me.
Talk about discovering a gem in a dumpster! I read this treasure of a book in one sitting. The protagonist is thirteen-year-old Evyn whose mother died when she was young and whose father unexpectedly announces that he’s remarrying and moving Evyn and her older brother to Boston into the home of his new lady love… and her six children.
Evyn has been a happy kid with a great best friend who loves her country home in Maine. Suddenly, she finds herself having so much to adjust to and being told to just “bounce” with all the changes. It’s no easy task.
Evyn’s voice as a snarky and very unhappy thirteen-year-old is pitch perfect, and it’s impossible not to root for her as she slowly finds her way to building a new life in alien circumstances.
I’ve now looked up Friend’s other novels which include Perfect, Lush, For Keeps, My Life in Black and White, Where You’ll Find Me, The Other F-Word, and How We Roll. I’m eager to read those as well.
But I want to end this blog with a special plea. If you’re done with a book, please, please don’t throw it into a dumpster. There are so many children and teens out there hungry for books. Donate that book you no longer have room for to your public library, local school, the Salvation Army, or other organization in your community that provides books for kids. It’s the right thing to do. You’ll brighten a child’s life, and who knows? You may even change it.