As Simple As It Seems

From Donna Barnes
author: Weeks, Sarah
As Simple As It Seems
This book tells the story of a twelve year old girl named Verbena who is struggling with many changes the summer after fifth grade.   Her first change occurs when her best friend since kindergarten has abandoned Verbena for a more popular girl.  This is more or less standard tween fare, but to deepen the drama , Verbena also discovers that she is adopted.  Once she finds out who her biological parents are, (her paternal uncle , who is in jail and his alcoholic wife)she worries that she will turn into a “mean” person just like her biological father.  She is clearly confused and has no friend to confide in, until Pooch moves in next door.  This is Verbena’s chance to re-invent herself and that she does.  What initially starts out as a friendship based on deception, evolves into a meaningful friendship that helps to pull Verbena out of her sadness.   This is an emotional story that is both heartwarming and humorous .  There is a bit of mystery, deception and danger to add to the excitement and turning of the pages as well.

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