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Contributor(s): Morelli, Frank

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ISBN: 0989908747     ISBN-13: 9780989908740
Publisher: Fish Out of Water Books
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Binding Type: Paperback
Published: February 2018

Following a family tragedy, 18-year-old Gabe LoScuda suddenly finds himself thrust into the role of caregiver for his ailing grandfather. Between the shopping trips and the doctor visits with Grandpa, Gabe and his friend John try to salvage their senior year, meet girls, and make the varsity baseball team. It doesn’t take long for Gabe to realize that going to school and looking after a grandfather with Alzheimer’s is more work than he ever imagined. And when long-lost Uncle Nick appears on the scene, Gabe soon finds that living with Nick and Grandpa is like babysitting two grown men. Aside from John, the only person who truly understands Gabe is Sofia, a punk-rocking rebel he meets at the veteran’s hospital. When these three unlikely friends are faced with a serious dilemma, will they do what it takes to save Grandpa? If there’s a chance of preserving the final shreds of Grandpa’s dignity, Gabe may have to make the most gut-wrenching decision of his life—and there’s no way out.

Additional Information
Dewey: FIC
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.75" H x 6.00" W x 0.50" (0.70 lbs) 215 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 February)

Gr 9 Up—A story of a young man's accelerated journey of self-discovery. Gabe LoScuda is an average teen. Not popular but not a loner either, he navigates high school with his mind on basketball practice, hanging out with his best friend John, and figuring out how to ask out the prettiest girl in school. When his parents take an overnight trip to Atlantic City to celebrate their wedding anniversary, what was meant to be one evening of caring for his grandfather, who has dementia, turns into forever. Gabe wakes to a phone call that changes his life completely, finding out that his parents have died in a car accident. He is meant to care for his grandfather, but this is a full-time job that he cannot manage on his own. When his uncle insists on helping, Gabe has no other choice than to accept the offer. His uncle proves to be an alcoholic unable to watch his grandfather and becomes another person Gabe has to look after. Morelli phenomenally portrays the teen's angst and struggles. Although the subject matter is heavy at times, the author uses humor to keep the story going. Readers will be engaged with this unique novel written with chapters that alternate with Gabe's essays and memories. VERDICT This coming-of-age tale is a must for any YA collection.—Davia Schmidt, Queens Public Library, NY

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.
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