This Would Make a Good Story Someday

320p. ebook available. Delacorte. May 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781101938171.
Gr 5–8—During the summer before seventh grade, Sara's writer mom wins a monthlong cross-country train trip for the family, the purpose of which is to take notes for a new book. Sara, who had planned to spend her summer break with her friends, is furious. But she has no choice. Sara, older sister Laurel, 20; Laurel's boyfriend Root; younger sister Li, six; and both of Sara's mothers are off to see America. In retaliation, the tween decides not to share her thoughts about the places they visit (she doesn't want to be in the book; her mom's parenting blog is embarrassing enough) or be nice to anyone. The family members are soon joined by the other winner of the trip, an author from Texas; his son, Travis, who is the same age as Sara; and Travis's great-aunt and her friend. Sara escapes by writing in her journal. The story is by turns funny and sad, with a lot of life lessons. The plot drags in the middle as Sara's sulking quickly gets old. Also included are notes and postcards from various characters. Some of the ephemera are confusing; it's not always clear which character is the author of which notes.
VERDICT Moody tweens will identify with prickly Sara. Purchase where the author's previous books are popular and for middle school collections in need of fiction featuring realistic family drama.

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