By Ellie Terry
Feiwel and Friends, 2017. Fiction.
Calliope June has just moved for the tenth time. Her mom has broken up with another boyfriend and so they've packed up their bags, deflated Calli's air mattress bed, and moved to St. George, Utah. Calli has never lived somewhere long enough to make a best friend, and it doesn't help her that she has Tourette Syndrome so she sometimes makes faces or noises that she doesn't mean to. The kids at her new school make fun of her -- except for Jinsong, the student body president, who quickly befriends her and sees past her Tourette's.
I cannot say enough how much I love this sweet story of friendship and learning to accept yourself. The story is told using a mix of free verse and prose poetry which makes Calli's Tourette's feel very real and breaks a lot of misconceptions about Tourette Syndrome. Jinsong is great character and great friend, who's reluctance to defend his friend and risk his own popularity is something many kids will identify with. Calli definitely stands out, though, as a sweet, interesting, and thoughtful character that anyone should want to befriend. The fact that this novel is the debut of a Utah writer only makes it even better to me - read and share this book widely, you won't regret it.