This book was like a sweet, sweet spell come to disintegrate me to a bubble of emotion. I know that sounds awfully dramatic but it just goes to show how much I enjoyed this special, special little book.
Delly is a troublemaker. She doesn't mean to be bad or get into so much dang trouble, but her ideas always seem to lead her there. One day a new kid shows up. Is Ferris Boyd a boy or a girl? No one can decide. But one thing Delly does know about this mute Ferris that doesn't like being touched, is that Ferris is really, really good at basketball, can communicate telepathically with animals, and is hurting something bad inside. So, Delly decides to become her friend and slowly... slowly she stops getting into so much trouble.
First off, this book was such a surprise! I adore books about middle-graders and Delly was one of the most interesting and funny kids I've had the pleasure to meet. With her eccentric vocabulary, short fuse, scrappy ways, and heart of gold, you know this tale is about a truly human kid. Hannigan's other characters, from Delly's little bro, RB, to Brud, a stuttering boy outcast, to Ferris Boyd herself, encompass a profound truth about children that isn't often found in pop culture. These kids need to be themselves more than anything. That, and they need to be loved. And when they are loved, boy, are they unstoppably happy. Not only was I surprised by the characters but I was also taken aback and totally unprepared for how emotional this book turned out to be. I had to fight back tears at some parts and honestly, I can't remember doing that since reading "A Day No Pigs Would Die," by Richard Peck back in the 6th grade. So, yes, I would totally recommend this book and I simply can't wait to read Hannigan's other work.
-Sonia Pereira Murphy, author of "Snow Spell" available on Kindle.