by Dana Alison Levy
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
When I finished the last page and closed the book, I was surprised by how quiet the room was. The Fletcher boys (not to mention their menagerie) are quite noisy! With four adopted boys between the ages of six and twelve, you’d expect nothing less, and Levy accurately captures this feel with realistic dialogue and antics. Each child has his own drama going on this year: Sam, the oldest, is struggling to fit his new-found interest in acting in with his rigorous soccer schedule, and friends who don’t understand the call of the stage. Eli is at a new school that focuses on academics, which he’s finding too rigid but at the same time it seems impossible to tell his parents he wants to go back to his old school. Jax, who is the same age as Eli and had always been in the same class, is mourning a changing friendship with his longtime friend, Henry, and needs to interview a veteran for a school project. And Frog, in Kindergarten, wants nothing more than his family to meet his new best friend and her family, and maybe get a kitten. Or a turtle. In addition to boys, pets, sports, friends and two dads, the family has a new neighbor who doesn’t seem to like them, but Mr. Nelson is a veteran (a perfect read for Veteran’s Day!) whom Jax hopes to interview. How he eventually comes around, and how the boys’ problems resolve themselves, is touching and realistic. I was glad for the quiet, when it came, but missed them and hope to welcome them back into my life in a future story!