Absolutely Almost

Absolutely Almost

Downloadable Audiobook - 2014
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Albie has never been the smartest kid in his class. He has never been the tallest. Or the best at gym. Or the greatest artist. Or the most musical. In fact, Albie has a long list of the things he's not very good at. And his parents keep reminding him of those things all the time. . . even when it's just by accident. But then Albie gets a new babysitter, Calista, who helps him figure out all of the things heisgood at and how he can take pride in himself. A perfect companion to Lisa Graff's A TANGLE OF KNOTS, this novel explores a similar theme in a realistic contemporary world where kids will easily be able to relate their own struggles to Albie's. Once again, Graff crafts a beautiful novel about figuring out who you are and doing what you love.
Publisher: Prince Frederick : Recorded Books, 2014
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781490624839
Characteristics: 1 online resource (5 audio files) : digital
Additional Contributors: Galvin, Noah
OverDrive, Inc

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JCLChrisK Apr 16, 2015

"But he's a superhero," Calista said. "That means he has to have a superpower.

"Nope," I said, because I was pretty sure she was wrong. "Some people aren't good at anything. Some people just really like donuts."

Some people aren't good at anything. It's an uncomfortable truth; one we don't like to accept. One we have trouble accepting. Yet it's Albie's reality; one he has to face every day. Great for him is almost good for everyone else. Nothing comes easy and he's never good enough.

Never good enough to please his parents or fit in with his peers, in particular. Just as they can't accept the general idea that some people aren't good at anything, they can't accept the particular idea of Albie as he is. Good stories make you feel, and, oh, does this book make you cringe with embarrassment and anger and indignation with some of its scenes of clueless parenting moments, awkward social missteps and ostracizings, and educational failings.

Yet it also makes you feel empathy and pride and amusement with Albie's more successful moments. He is sensitive and observant and has a few people who really get him, along with those who keep trying despite their failings. This is not a tragedy--there's nothing particularly wrong with Albie, he's just not exceptional in any way and struggles in areas where the standard expectations have become excellence. ("This is for babies," says his mom of his favorite books; "I expect you to get a perfect score on your next spelling test, Albie," says his dad. "It's not up for debate, Albie. Any son of mine should be able to spell. Do better.") And, despite it all, Albie earns the admiration of those who matter; most importantly, himself.

Though presented simply, in a approachable, engaging form with a very real voice, this is not a simple story. There is good and bad, are mistakes and triumphs throughout, sometimes in the same moment. Both situations and feelings are complex, conflicted, and confusing. It feels like life, real and true.


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