Zachary Beatrice has never felt that connected to the Colorado desert where he and his father live in an old, aluminum-sided trailer. After his mother takes off, determined to finally realize her dream of working on a cruise ship, Zachary's even more unmoored. So, when his dad suggests moving, Zachary's all for it. Falls, Connecticut, is a quirky little town, and it doesn't take long for the Beatrices to feel right at home.
One of Falls' most notorious residents lives right across the street from Zachary. Like him, Rachel Spinelli is 14. Unlike him, she has a fearsome reputation as a scrappy, hot-tempered fighter. Zachary really doesn't want to get on her bad side, but it soon becomes apparent that anything can happen during the long, hot summer in Falls, Connecticut.
Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face (available August 30), a new middle grade novel by Paul Acampora, is one of those gentle stories that always put a smile on my face. It's warm, funny, and touching in a subtle, melodrama-free kind of way. There's not much of a plot going on in Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face, but I really couldn't have cared less. I loved it.
(Readalikes: Reminded me a little bit of the Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall; also, the relationship between Rachel and her big brother reminded me of the one between Anya and Leo in All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin)
If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG
To the FTC, with love: I received an ARC of Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face from the generous folks at Macmillan/Roaring Press. Thank you!