Fourteen-year-old Sarah Zorn intends to spend the Wisconsin summer with her “boyfriend” Curtis, waiting for a dead calf named Boris to decompose in time for the science fair. Her plans upend, however, when her fake-boyfriend strategy goes seriously awry just as her hippie Grandma Z invites her on a last-minute Roman holiday. As Sarah explores Italy’s ancient wonders, she can’t stop “boy-liking” Curtis . . . or puzzling over her grandmother’s odd behavior. Written as Sarah’s journal, this satisfying middle grade novel navigates the murky waters of first love, friendship, and family with heart and good humor.
About the Author
Catherine Murdock grew up on a small farm in Connecticut and now lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband, two brilliant unicycling children, several cats, and a one-acre yard that she is slowly transforming into a wee, but flourishing ecosystem. She is the author of several books, including the popular Dairy Queen series starring lovable heroine D. J. Schwenk, Princess Ben, and Wisdom's Kiss.
"My sister’s novel is a love story to growing up, a love story to Rome, and—in the best and simplest way—a love story to family. I adored reading it."
—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
"Fourteen-year-old Sarah discovers first love and family secrets in this sweet-as-a-cookie Dairy Queen companion for slightly younger readers."
"A sweet story about family and love, which should appeal to tween readers of Wendy Mass."
"[A] funny and sweet coming-of-age story from the author of Dairy Queen. . . [Sarah's] narrative voice, a winning blend of humor, enthusiasm, and insecurity, will resonate strongly with tween girls, and the journal format will also appeal."
—School Library Journal
"Sarah's voice is tart and inquisitive, and her observations make the pilgrimage come alive."
—The Horn Book Magazine
"Sarah tells her story in the form of journal entries, and her voice is authentically tween as she tried to sort through the complicated turns her life is taking. . . . Give this to fans of Frances O'Roark Dowell and the younger siblings of those who enjoyed the Dairy Queen trilogy."
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books