Tougas, Shelley Patron Saint of Bridesmaids, 262 pages. Language: PG (5+ swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (punch in the nose).
Things in Mary’s life are not spectacular. Her father is living a few hours away because a big box store closed down the family hardware store and he couldn’t find a job close by. When Mary is asked to be the only bridesmaid at her cousin’s wedding, Mary and her brother Luke are sent to their grandmother’s for the whole summer to help with preparations and to get out of their mother’s hair and she tries to find a new home near Dad. Mary feels like everyone is asking her to keep secrets – secrets she doesn’t even want to know. As much as she loves her family, she’s not sure she likes them very much right now.
This would be a perfect book for paperback. Tougas tries to cram in a variety of topics – anxiety, bullying, lying, family problems, religious questioning, friendship, and crushes. It almost all works, but it doesn’t stand out as a long-term keeper. EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher.