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Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  393 ratings  ·  96 reviews
“Sooner or later, we’re all gonna be okay.”

That’s what Dani’s Grandma Beans used to say. But that was before she got Alzheimer’s. Lately, Dani isn’t so sure Grandma Beans was right. In fact, she isn’t sure of a lot of things, like why Mac Richardson suddenly doesn’t want to be her friend, and why Grandma Beans and Avadelle Richardson haven’t spoken in decades. Lately, Gran
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Hardcover, 342 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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barbara yeah I think it's good for that age group but I'm not sure if you have a copy of the book check on the back in the lower left/right corner and it shou…moreyeah I think it's good for that age group but I'm not sure if you have a copy of the book check on the back in the lower left/right corner and it should say the age rating

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Libriar
This book was trying to do too much. The beginning was very confusing and hard to get into - and I'm an adult reading it who has background knowledge of the events and time period. I just can't see a middle school student (even a die-hard historical fiction fan) picking this book up on his/her own and actually getting past the first 50 pages. And just when I was finally liking it, the ending was completely unnecessary. I think somewhere in here is a book that adults would like - the author shoul ...more
Scott Fillner
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If this book were a meal it would be 7 course, fine dining experience. It is a book that you pause to reflect and discuss. It's a book that you will savor and re-read. It is also a book that will lead you to discover other resources including books, artists, and music.
It's a book that will run you through all possible emotions, and then do it to you all over again throughout this amazing story.

If you enjoy mystery, realistic and historical fiction, than this will be a must read for you!
Kara LeNoir
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
EVERYONE should read this book especially now. We need to remember our past so that we are not doomed to repeat it or even think of it as past. As a former teacher, I think this should be taught in all middle schools in order to facilitate discussions on what's going on in our country right now. I can't recommend this book more highly.
Jeff Raymond
Sometimes that one book comes around that inadvertently hits upon a bunch of things you like reading about or can relate to. History, family secrets, the whole package. To distill Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry to only its base components, however, does it a disservice, as this book is really one of the best books for this age group I've read in some time and is a book with weight and importance for all readers.

Dani's grandmother has Alzheimer's, and gives Dani a key to open... something
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Emma Hu
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
It was ok... I felt like she kind of tried to include too much in it, and sometimes the logic didn't make any sense, like for example in 1967 interracial marriage in Mississippi was made legal, and Dani says that her parents were already married before that, and the book was published in 2016, and I don't exactly remember but Dani was around 12 right, so if the book was set in present tense (which I'm guessing it was since they had cell phones) then her parents would have to be like in their 70s ...more
Sharlene Robertson
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a phenomenal book that ties in civil rights from the view point of a kid in today's world. Highly recommend!
Kris
Wow. I loved this book. So many themes: social, political, and personal. It was a complex and thought-provoking read even for my socially aware self, and I cannot wait to promote it to some of my more mature to 5th graders.
Liz Friend
Apr 20, 2017 rated it liked it
The story: Dani's Grandma Ruth has Alzheimer's, and it looks like the truth about her part in the history of the Civil Rights Movement may go to the grave with her, untold. But Dani's been given a rambling manuscript, a key with no lock, and a story written by Grandma's worst enemy--and she intends to use them to unlock the mystery...even when the worst thing that could possibly happen actually DOES.

June Cleaver's ratings: Language PG; Violence PG-13; Sexual content G; Nudity G; Substance abuse
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Carli
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow, another pleasant #mglit surprise. I'm not a crier, but this one got me.
.
Dani's grandmother has been feuding with her best friend and acclaimed novelist Avadelle for decades. Now bedridden with Alzheimer's, Ruth instructs Dani to find some of her old journals and a key, which Dani thinks will lead her to an answer about the feud. Instead, she learns more about the civil rights movement and her own identity and history than she ever knew existed. Oh, and there are ghosts. Literally and metaph
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Sam Day
Jan 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tasha
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Dani’s grandmother suffers from Alzheimer’s and is slowly reaching the end of her life cared for by Dani and her parents. So when her grandmother sends Dani on a mission to find a letter and key, Dani isn’t sure that it’s real. She discovers both the letter and key, then has to follow the trail of clues her grandmother left in her writing to discover the truth of a feud that her grandmother had with Avadelle Richardson, a novelist who wrote about a riot that happened at Ole Miss. It’s a riot tha ...more
Christinetb
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a huge topic to handle, and I confess I began to see where it was going. But I was cheering - mostly for the author's courage in tackling an issue about race. I will confess, I was concerned about the ending. I thought it was one accessory too many. The story was gripping, the pacing was well done, and I found myself having a hard time putting the book down.

What makes the book compelling is that the story is told in multiple points of view - the voice of the young girl through whose eye
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Kid Lit Reviews
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Twelve-year-old Dani, who is biracial, suddenly loses her best friend, Mac, who is white, and the grandson of Avadelle Richardson. Richardson wrote a best-selling novel set during the 1961 race riots in Mississippi, which caused the “Magnolia Feud” between her and her best friend, historian Ruth Beans, who is Dani’s grandmother.

Ruth gives Dani a secret key and a letter explaining that Dani can do what she wants with the contents of the box. Dani will do most anything to relieve her grandmother’
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Joy Lane
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I liked it and was thoroughly engaged. I wanted more history at the end...and then it had a very sad twist to close the story
Naomi Campbell
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017-books
I had trouble getting into this book and then when I finally did I felt like it NEEEDED TO FINAAAALLLLY get to the point and solve the mystery. But then it did, and right before it did, it perked up and I got more into it and then I was satisfied with the ending. Then I was reading the back (I read like the WHOLE book, acknowledgements and everything, right, but I always pretty much go into a book blind. Dangerous, maybe) and disappointed in the lifestyle of the author and then just kind of disa ...more
Erin
Oct 02, 2016 added it
Delved into aspects of history and civil rights/social justice that I'd not seen this honestly or in this kind of detail in an MG book. The James Meredith riot, lynchings, appropriation, how history is a lot more gritty and complex than we usually imagine, whether memorials to confederate soldiers should exist, white naïveté and privilege, who's allowed to tell which story and why. I liked the fact that the mystery was academic; the campus plays a central role and the kids turn to a scholar and ...more
Hanna Fogel
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Important and still relevant, however unfortunate that may be.
Melissa
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Very well written with great characters. More intense than I'd anticipated and a good description of civil rights for older kids.
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Vaught, Susan Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry, 334 pages. Simon & Schuster, 2017. $17. Language: PG (9 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (reference to a disturbing song, race riot undescribed).

Just as school lets out for the summer, Mac tells Dani that he is no longer allowed to hagn out with her. Dani, 13, knows that their grandmothers used to be friends and that something happened that made them quite speaking to each other, but why does that mean that Mac can’t be her fri
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Tracee
Apr 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
Even though this was a quick read, it left me completely disappointed for several reasons.

The book tried to take on too many big topics: Alzheimer's, PTSD, racism, cultural appropriation, living with a parent who is fighting a war, teen crush, etc. There was a lot going on and the narrative didn't go deep enough to explore all the issues fully.

The major problem I have with this book is that the author, in her note at the end, explains that she is white. I cannot help but feel angered and so dis
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Jenny Preston
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels, young-adult
So much of the conversation about race gets boiled down to sound bites and yelling at each other. This novel steps beyond that, handling this complex situation with the layers of respect it requires.

Dani Beans' grandma is a famous writer. So is her friend Mac's. The grandmas used to be friends way back, until The Magnolia Feud got in the way. What is the root of the feud? That's the question that weighs on Dani as she races against the clock of her grandma's death. At the same time, her own frie
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Casey Jo
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this woven tale of racism and its effects on friendships.

And this one line of dialogue sums up why we need to talk with kids about what's really happening, from p. 160:
"If I don't know about them, will they stop being true?" Ooof!

And yet, I can't help but wonder, especially given the author's note, why Vaught chose to make the Black kid her POV MC, rather than her white friend, especially given the way the book finished. Even though she mentions it in the author's note. And whe
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Naomi
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book had such potential! Solidly clear writing, characters who felt real, a deep historical backdrop. BUT. There are too many stories going! There is the historical mystery. There is Alzheimer and its impact on families. There are racial tensions within children's friendships. There is the retired army dad with PTSD. There are excerpts from a novel written by a character. There is (view spoiler). It's all just too much to fit into one mid-grade n ...more
Ann
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dani Beans has enough going with her favorite grandmother slipping away into Alzheimers. Through her love for her grandmother, she gets involved in a mystery that took place in her home town, the site of Old Miss, where James Meredith's integration into the all-white school, was not only a painful part of Mississippi (and USA) history, but somehow involved Dani's grandmother and her ex-best friend. Past and present interweave, as Dani is determined to discover what is still bothering her grandmo ...more
Eme87
Dani lives in Mississippi with her mom, dad, and grandma who is suffering from Alzheimer's. Her grandma is a famous author with a famous feud with another author- Avadelle. All Dani wants to do is make sure her grandma is at peace and if that means finding out the truth about the feud, that is what Dani will do. With the help of her friends Indri and Mac, Dani looks everywhere for the answers to the clues her grandmother left her. When finally getting close, life takes an unexpected turn and cha ...more
Linda Quarne
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Friendship, coming of age, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, dealing with a parent that is deployed, secrets, ghosts, relationships, and the civil rights movement seems like a lot to cram into one book but Susan Vaught navigated all that and more in this fantastic book. There are so many themes woven into the story that I couldn’t even mention them all without spoiling the book but after the first few pages I was entranced and stayed up past my bedtime to finish. This is the perfect book for a book club becaus ...more
Sherry McGhay
I loved this story for it's history of the Civil Rights Movement, but I also loved it for all it's other elements. Dani's Grandma has Alzheimer's, her dad struggles with PTSD, her mom is working two jobs, they are a biracial family, and I just like that they feel like a real family with tons on their plates. There is a mystery around a falling out between Dani's grandmother and her best friend. Dani has to deal with her own falling out with a friend...There are so many things to think about and ...more
Katie
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a YA novel which means there is quick character development, which is always a plus for me.

This book is based on an actual event during the civil rights movement in the south.

Race was a major theme in this novel, which I'm big into lately.

It also had a bit of mystery to it which made sure I kept the pages turning.

I recommended it to my daughter to read.

I think, more than ever, it's important to read books that deal with biases, prejudices, and racism on a real level so hopefully things c
...more
Andie
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book addresses such big, complicated topics in such an accessible way. I really enjoyed reading it and enjoyed following these kids around as they try to solve mysteries and learn their history in a world that wants to ignore it. We get to see them grapple with secrets and the fallout of letting those secrets poison everything around them. There was one plot twist that I thought came out of nowhere and it kind of knocked me off my feet, it wasn't where I thought the book was going and it se ...more
Tamsyn
This was excellent -- a mashup of a realistic story of a young girl with a father retired from the military and a grandmother suffering from Alzheimer's disease, with a lot of history of the Civil Rights movement of Oxford, MS, mixed in with an old feud and the mystery surrounding it. Lots of real-life issues here, friendships and betrayals, good families, and insight into race relations in the South.
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Website: http://susanvaught.com


astrology sign: Libra

favorite book: Harry Potter (all of them) and His Dark Materials
(all of those, too)

favorite song:I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab for Cutie

current pet total:12 if you don't count the chickens, peafowl,
turkeys, ducks, geese, pigeons, or guineas.

names of my schools:
Vanderbilt University (MS, Ph.D.)
University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) (B
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