Charlyn 's Reviews > When Life Gives You O.J.

When Life Gives You O.J. by Erica S. Perl
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Sep 09, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: boy-girl-relationships, bullying, family_story, fiction, friendship, grief, humor, realistic-fiction
Read from September 03 to 04, 2012 , read count: 1

When Zelly Fried's family moves from Brooklyn to Vermont to care for her grandfather, Zelly finds herself amidst people who are quite different from her and her family. But she does find one positive thing: now that they live in a home with a yard, maybe she can finally get the dog she has always wanted. There is no support from her parents on that issue, however. But Ace, her grandfather gives her a "practice" dog, an empty orange juice container, which she names O.J. Ace tells her she must prove to her parents that she is responsible enough to care for a real animal by taking care of O.J. She must feed him, take him for daily walks, and clean up the messes he makes in public.

But there appears to be no change in her parents' attitude and she begins to think about giving up O.J. Then she meets Jeremy, another newcomer to Vermont, who teaches her how to play tennis and encourages her to follow through Ace's plan...at least for a while.

Zelly, however, is dealing with more disappointments in life than just not getting a dog. Her new best friend Allie has gone to camp and hasn't written her once. Nicky Benoit, her nemesis at school, reappears to torment her and Jeremy. And Ace--well, Ace isn't the easiest person in the world to get along with. It was her grandmother Bubbles who always made Zelly feel loved and secure and now she's gone.

Zelly's problems are very realistic and, although her family, especially Ace, may seem quirky, her parents and friends create tension that is normal in any family. And, like many families, a crisis brings everyone together to support one another.
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