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Every Single Second

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  532 ratings  ·  137 reviews
From acclaimed author Tricia Springstubb comes an incredibly powerful and timely novel about how a single act impacts a community, a city, and the way a young girl views the world around her.

A single second. That’s all it takes to turn a world upside down.

Twelve-year-old Nella Sabatini’s life is changing too soon, too fast. Her best friend, Clem, doesn’t seem concerned; sh
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Balzer + Bray
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  532 ratings  ·  137 reviews

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Emily Montjoy
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Every Single Second is a powerful book that stays with you long after the last page is read. The message readers walk away from this read is just what the title says, every single second matters. One decision can change everything. The main character Nella finds herself in the middle of a modern day account of a civil rights movement after a white man shoots a black man. She and her friend Angela work together to help the community come together rather than pull apart, choosing kindness and forg ...more
Amanda - Cover2CoverMom
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
You can read all of my reviews on my blog -> Cover2CoverMom

I’m really conflicted over this one.  On one hand, there were many great aspects about this middle grade book, but on the other I think the author may have been a little too ambitious with all the “heavy topics” that she included in one book.  This book includes topics like (view spoiler) ((What I’ve hidden isn’t necessarily
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely one of my favorite books so far this year. It was a really heartbreaking and believable portrayal of not only perceptions and prejudices, but of children who grow up and change and don't necessarily understand all of what's going on around them. I loved Nella very much even when I wanted to reach into the book and go NO THAT'S NOT WHAT'S GOING ON, and I might've cried at a couple places. Highly recommended! ...more
Christie Burke
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
The summary of this book doesn't really do it justice. This is a solid and engaging coming-of-age title featuring a girl with too many little brothers, a former best friend whose life is too complicated to make sense of, and a recently learned Old Family Secret (which has never been a secret to the rest of the town). I love the way that Nella really grows in this story, and the way the author resolves friendships and other relationships.

I think a lot of fifth- and sixth-graders would really res
Sherri Silvera
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. This was a new author for me but I will definitely try another.

The story covered so many timely topics - racism, PTSD, mental illness, friendship, family - and it was done so well. Everything worked.
Jun 13, 2016 added it
Shelves: read-in-2016
A beautifully written and richly layered coming-of-age story that tackles timely issues and will lead to productive discussions with middle school readers.

EVERY SINGLE SECOND follows twelve-year-old Nella through "then" and "now" chapters (and also weaves in occasional short chapters from the perspective of a statue that has witnessed generations' worth of tensions, tragedies, and celebrations in the richly drawn Italian neighborhood where the book is set). This is an ambitious, sweeping novel;
Ms. Yingling
Apr 24, 2016 rated it liked it
ARC from Young Adult Books Central and reviewed there.
Also available through Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Nella and Angela are best friends who attend a Catholic school in a largely urban Italian neighborhood. They both have struggles with their families-- Nella has a passel of younger brothers, a harried mother, and a father who is a caretaker for the local cemetery and seems to have a secret sadness. Angela's father's problems are more apparent, as he was in the army and struggles with PSTD, wh
Christina Getrost
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story, set in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood, for its warm, real characters, the theme of friendships starting and changing, and the realistic depiction of families from different cultural backgrounds and experiences and the hardships they often endure. It also deals with race relations and issues from today's world, in an age-appropriate way for a middle grade/middle school book. Being set in a somewhat familiar area for me certainly added to the appeal, but you don't have t ...more
Apr 27, 2016 rated it liked it

A sprawling coming-of-age book about friendship, doing the right thing, and the slippery nature of time. Reminds me of books like Goodbye Stranger, All American Boys, and The Seventh Most Important Thing.

This story is broken into two parts: Now and Then. Then, Nella was friends with Angela DeMarco, who has a father suffering with PTSD and never seems to have any cash on her. Now, Nella has distanced herself from the hopelessly uncool Angela and has befriended the savvy Clem, whose parents
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bravo for this empathetic story of middle school, friendship past and present, family, school, and neighborhood and community - in their close-knittedness and their insularity. Readers will experience, along with protagonist Nella (too-tall twelve-year-old and sister of too many younger brothers), how there really are different sides to every story, and more stories than one person knows, and how decisions made in a second have eternal consequences. Nella is trying to cope with the imminent clos ...more
I was pleased to win a copy of Every Single Second by Tricia Springstubb through the Goodreads Giveaways program. I stated reading the book as soon as I received it but had to put it aside for a bit before finishing it, not because I wasn't enjoying it but because I had to get my mind right to read it. Given the current political and racial climate in this country this book hit me hard right in the feels. I'm all for tackling tough subjects but I felt so emotionally raw and exposed while reading ...more
EVERY SINGLE SECOND by Tricia Springstubb is a realistic fiction story examining the struggles of middle grade friends in an urban neighborhood.

This story of friendship and families tells the story of Nella, Clem, and Angela who are friends that attend Catholic school together. A school closing, accidental shooting, and medical crisis cause stress in both the families and the local community.

Librarians will find the themes of racial tensions, PSTD, and school closings to be very timely. Youth wh
Emily Dia
Sep 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I adored the tail end of this book. The beginning lagged and lagged for me and the flashbacks and forwards were quite difficult for me to track with (lots of re-reading for clarity!).

AND, it is an important book I'll be getting into the hands of my students. Middle grade readers will wrestle with many provocative themes as they journey into this community reacting to a tragic decision...the "invisible walls" that exist between people, and the reality that in life it is "harder to find your way
Cheryl Rowland
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-won
I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion- thank you so much!

I don't usually read books that feature a child protagonist, but this book is definitely an exception!
It is well written and engaging and I could not put it down, and I read it well into the night to finish it. I found all the characters to be believable as well as a bit eccentric, as happens in real life.
The main character, twelve-year-old Nella, is dealing with many life-changing situations throughout her
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
At first I thought the chapters from the statue's perspective and the storyline with the grandmother were not going to work for me, but it all came together so well. I liked the theme of redemption and the idea that moving forward matters. My one complaint would be that the accidental shooting of an innocent black man by an off-duty security guard was handled in a way that made me uncomfortable. It was almost as if the black character was killed to teach the white characters a lesson. I was not ...more
Kate Hastings
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nella is caught between so many people in her life. Her childhood best friend, Angela, who lives with a PTSD father and Clem, her new and hip science geek BFF. Her grouchy great-grandmother who gripes at her during daily visits and her father whom that great-grandmother sacrificed everything for.

Angela's brother Anthony is involved in a community shooting that throws their community into a frenzy and reminds Nella's family of an accident that cost Nella's father his reputation and an innocent gi
Maya White-Lurie
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book is a continuous tragedy and truly speaks to the young adult seeking a dramatic, heart-rending story. (I pass no judgement. I, too, was an angsty girl.)

I couldn't stop reading this. It is kind of like a soap opera that keeps me from changing the channel. I think it would have gotten 3 stars from me if more attention had been paid to the victims of Anthony's crime. Even when Nella decides to care about them, they're just shadows. Also, the perspective of the statue was completely unneces
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
I didn't realize that Tricia Springstubb was from here in NE Ohio. She lives in Cleveland Heights, on the East Side of Cleveland. The setting for this book is Little Italy. The topic is "torn from the headlines." Sadly it keeps happening over and over again: events where a single second changes lives forever. There is a lot of insight and growth in this book. There are a lot of topics tucked into this book: the changing face of friendship in the middle school years, family relationships, the aft ...more
Kelly Hager
Powerful novel dealing with an officer-involved shooting (very appropriate timing, given recent events). But it's also about friendship (new friends and outgrowing old friends) and family. So basically it's about life. ...more
Monica Edinger
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed for May/June Horn Book.
Michele Knott
Springstubb takes on big issues and big questions in this middle grade novel. This book will start some important conversations with upper middle grade readers.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won’t lie i thought this book was a little slow at times but it was worth it!
May 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
"When you choose one thing, you dis-choose a gazillion others. Making a choice isn't the powerful part. Having a choice is." ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Reading Countess
Truth be told, I should have read this one from start to finish; but life got in the way. Moving and school beginning blocked my memory about the beginning of this one. I rated it a four star but later changed it to five. With that being said, this is a challenging book for its intended audience due to the time shifts, the true-to-life events and the faith-infused beliefs planted subtly and not-so-subtly within its pages. These are all reasons why middle grade readers must read it. Stripped from ...more
“If only you could store up happiness, Nella would think years later. Dig a happiness hole, or keep a happiness piggy bank, saving up for when you ran out.”

Nella and Angela have been friends since the first day of kindergarten when Anthony, Angela’s older brother, tied Nella’s shoes for her. Since that day, she’s always thought of Anthony has her prince and Nella as her secret sister. How could Nella predict what would eventually happen to all of them?

They live in a neighborhood where there are
Gabrielle Schwabauer
This was a weird read.

The author wanted to tackle about 57 different topics—the awkwardness of shifting friendships, the temptation to ditch people when their problems get too difficult, race relations, cycles of family violence, the need to "soften" and accept help and community from others, dealing with change, , the importance of seemingly tiny actions, parental guilt and dishonesty, alcoholism, gun violence, forgiveness, grandparents and health decline, the list just goes on and on and on.

Katie Fitzgerald
Change is afoot for Nella Sabatini and her Italian-American neighborhood. Angela, the friend Nella used to consider a sister, has become consumed by family difficulties caused by her father's PTSD, leaving Nella to spend more time with a new friend named Clem. Nella's own father has been hiding a secret for Nella's entire life, and when Nella discovers the truth, she has trouble looking at him in the same way. Meanwhile, Nella's beloved school, St. Amphibalus, is about to shut down, leaving its ...more
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-and-kidlit
This was a brave book to write, tackling the difficult topic of racism generally, and the shooting of a black young man by a white young man in particular. I thought the book, overall, was excellent. The concept of time is explored in a number of fascinating ways, including through the extremely non chronological movement of the story (which I thought the author handled well, but might still be difficult for struggling readers to follow). But when you're telling a story, you're telling about one ...more
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 10-12
Nella Sabatini is overwhelmed with the changes she is facing. Her tight-knit Italian neighborhood is becoming gentrified with wealthy families who don't associate with the long time families. Her small private school is closing, so she will be going to the huge public school. Her long time best friend, Angela, has been acting weird, so Nella abandoned her for a new, very cool friend, who doesn't act like a friend. And her grandmother is getting more confused and more angry. Then a horrific trage ...more
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Sister James Bernard, my first grade teacher, taught me how to read. Our class had 60 children (yes) and we went up and down the long rows, taking turns reading aloud. There was absolutely no reading ahead, which was torture. I was always dying to know What happened next? (though with Dick and Jane, the answer was usually, Not much.) As I grew up, I began to wonder not only what happened, but why, ...more

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