** spoiler alert **
Seventh grader Louise Terrace lives with her well-meaning but sometimes clueless grandparents for reasons that are not made clear at the start of the book. Eventually readers realize that her father has started another family in another city and that her mother committed suicide, an event that Louise has completely blocked from her memory. Instead, she focuses on the secret crush she thinks a schoolmate has on her and avoids all the activities that used to bring her pleasure such as gymnastics. With little to hold onto, she succumbs to the efforts of some of her teammates to isolate her and try to make her quit the team out of jealousy. During her efforts to pursue her crush--she convinces herself that the crush is actually mutual--she relies on the support of her best friends, Reni and Henderson. Little does she know that Henderson has some secrets of his own. One of the best parts of this novel is how the author makes clear just how hard it is to recover from the loss of a loved one. Sometimes the death of a parent makes a child lose him/herself for awhile as in the case of Louise. While the romance itself is sweet, I knew from the beginning who the secret admirer is, and I'm sure many middle grade readers will as well.