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The Astonishing Maybe

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  185 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Pitched as Pippi Longstocking meets My Girl and Waitress, the book tells the story of the unlikely friendship between 12-year-old Gideon, who has just moved across the country to Nevada, and Roona, the adventurous girl next door who rollerskates everywhere, isn't afraid of anything, and can transform herself into Wonder Roo, a superhero version of herself. The book will ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Feiwel and Friends
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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Samantha (WLABB)
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, mg, contemporary, 2019
Gideon was not happy about relocating from the Jersey Shore to the Nevada desert. He thought this move would equal disaster, but then he saw a girl, his age, wearing a cape and roller skating. He was immediately drawn to her. She was vivacious, adventurous, and imaginative. Essentially, the opposite of him, but Gideon soon discovered that Roona was dealing with a lot of grown up issues.

Like Gideon, I was immediately drawn to Roona. I saw an early description for this book that described it was
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Gideon moves to Arizona, his expectations couldn't be lower. But then he meets Roona, the girl next door who won't let anything intimidate her -- not hard questions, not blistering heat, not even epic quests across the state. Roona only seems to have two fears: 1) That her mom will succumb to depression (again), and 2) That Roona will be sent to live with her aunt's family.

I really appreciated this read, though I think some of the content might be harder for younger middle grade readers.
Interest Level: 5-8

Have you ever met someone who seems a little odd? Well that is an understatement when it come to Roona. When Gideon and his family pull up to their new house the first thing he sees is this odd girl on roller skates, wearing a bathing suit over her clothes, rainbow-striped socks, and a blanket around her neck like a cape. Gideon soon finds out that you can't judge a book by its cover. He and Roona become fast friends even though they are completely opposite. Even though Gideon
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Upcoming seventh grader, Gideon, hates that his family has relocated to hot, dry Nevada. He hates that the only kid in his neighborhood is Roona, a girl his age that wears roller skates, a swimsuit over her clothes, and a blanket cape. But then Gideon gets to know Roona and discovers that different can be good. And when Roona enlist his help to find her long-gone father, Gideon finds himself caught up in more than he may be able to handle.

Shaunta Grimes’ The Astonishing Maybe is a deeply felt
Katie Reilley
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to the author and publisher for sharing an ARC with our #bookexpedition group.

Gideon has just moved to Nevada, and the only other kid his age that lives near him is a girl named Roona, who lives with her mom. They become friends, and Roona confides in Gideon that her dad’s at an Air Force base and that she hasn’t seen him in years. She also tells Gideon that her mother’s emotions can be found in the cookies, pies, and cakes she bakes and shares with the community.

When her mom’s
Shaye Miller
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The Astonishing Maybe is Grimes’ first middle grade novel. The book blurb describes it as “Pippi Longstocking meets My Girl and Waitress” — and while Pippi is funny, quirky, and light-hearted, if you’ve ever seen My Girl and Waitress, then you know to be prepared for heavy topics and an emotional experience.

12-year-old Gideon is new to Logandale, Nevada, and one of the first things he notices is his new neighbor, Roona. She is roller-skating up and down the sidewalk with rainbow-striped socks
I found the plot line in this one to be too rushed and disjointed. The characters felt underdeveloped and the speed at which the friendship developed made it feel unrealistic.
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher on Netgalley.

I liked it, but out of the 3 middle grade books I read that day from Netgalley this was by far the lesser story. It was very short and no one seemed developed quite enough. It reminded me most of About a Boy except with a girl instead of a boy, but the same feelings of sort of manic mother-child relationship and energy due to mental illness, a previous suicide attempt, etc. A lot of plot is crammed into a very short text and
Katlyn Duncan
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This fast-paced read explores friendship through tough situations. These kids (Gideon and Roona) experience so much in a short period of time. But their friendship is one to root for. This book was unputdownable as Grimes packed so much into this memorable story.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't stop reading

I really enjoyed the characters and the subject matter. The story dealt with sensitive issues in a straight forward way.
Ms. Yingling
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Gideon's family moves from New Jersey to Logandale, Nevada just in time for the long, hot summer. When he sees a neighbor girl out rollerskating wearing her bathing suit over her clothes and a baby blanket around her neck like a cape, he doesn't have a whole lot of hope for the summer. Roona turns out to be fairly nice, however, and since the two are going into 7th grade in the fall, Gideon spends some time hanging out in her backyard, putting his feet in the baby
Gideon has just moved from New Jersey to Nevada at the beginning of summer. Since school is out and he's not even allowed to cross the street on his bike, his only friend option is his next-door-neighbor, Roona. She's nice but a bit odd--wearing a baby blanket tied around her neck as a cape and rainbow-colored knee socks even though it's stiflingly hot. Very soon, Gideon and we readers realize Roona's got bigger problems and Gideon and Roona might be in over their heads in trying to solve them.

Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it

Some books have weird titles, but when the book has concluded, it makes sense. This doesn’t. I still don’t know why it’s called The Astonishing Maybe. But it doesn’t lose a star for that.

The Book Description compares it to a combination of the classic Pippi Longstocking and tear jerker My Girl (and I’m clueless about Waitress). Roona’s pigtails and high socks are the the only thing that connects her to Pippi. And because the topics are deep doesn’t mean it’s similar to My Girl. But
I had the opportunity to read a NetGalley digital ARC of this middle grade novel in exchange for a review. The description of the book that was provided – “Pippi Longstocking meets My Girl and Waitress” – led me to believe that this book was going to be a lighter story about a quirky adolescent girl. And while I liked it all right, the story was a bit heavier than what I thought it was going to be.

Gideon and his family have moved across the country from New Jersey to a small town in Nevada. It’s
Paige Green
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Publication Date: March 26, 2019

Genre: Upper Middle Grade Contemporary

Recommended Age: 13+ (slight language like one or two bad words, TW for mentions of suicide, TW for mentions of abuse and domestic violence, definitely an upper middle grade book)

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Pages: 240

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Pitched as Pippi Longstocking meets My Girl and Waitress,
Karen McKenna
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gideon is less than thrilled when his family moves across the country to Nevada. His moving woes quickly become overshadowed when his new neighbor befriends him. Roona is quirky, hopeful, and even a bit magical. But her family holds dark secrets. As Gideon goes against his overprotective parents to adventure with Roona, he discovers just how in over his head he is.

I liked the theme of friendship and the lesson of not looking the other way when someone else's life is messy. I loved the references
Kristin Crouch
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to MacKids SL for sharing an ARC with Collabookation.
My comp reads for The Astonishing Maybe would be The Science of Breakable Things (parental mental illness), The Infinity Year of Avalon James (a wonderful friendship), and/or The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Claire.
Gideon never wanted to move, but alas, his family has relocated from New Jersey to Nevada right at the beginning of summer. All he can really do is stay indoors and unpack, but an interesting neighbor skating around her
Small-town Nevada is nothing like the New Jersey home to which Gideon Quinton is accustomed. As time draws near for him to start his seventh grade year, his family moves. Since school hasn't started yet, Gideon has nothing to do except read and keep an eye on his little sister. Roona Mulroney, the girl who lives next door, seems quite different from anyone he's ever met. She's strong and confident and wears a cape made from a blanket and is clearly not bound by the same rules and restrictions ...more
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although Roona’s family issues of mental illness and imprisonment are far too real, this book provides a nice dash of magical realism in her mother’s baking. The reader does see the possible fallout of the baked goods (the entire crying nursing home and the chaos of the PTA meeting), but the narrative never clarifies if the magic is real or not. The novel continuously returns to the adventure theme, referencing the friends’ favorite book, The Hobbit. Grimes does a fantastic job of narrating ...more
Cindy Stein
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-fiction, 2019
Twelve year old Gideon moves with his family to Nevada during the summer between 6th and 7th grades. Roona, a girl his age, lives across the street. The two tentatively form a friendship, though Gideon is wary of Roona's strange superhero outfit and claims that her mother's pies and cakes cause people to have strange uncontrollable emotions (a magical realism device that reminded me of the book, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake). The story revolves around a secret trip that Roona and Gideon ...more
Maryjo Laupp
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-in-2019
I bought the book with the intention of reading it and then gifting it to a local classroom (the reading level is listed at 10-14 years of age). After reading I almost hate to give it away!

Grimes ever so gently - and in a way that is completely appropriate given the reading level - shares the story of Gideon Quinton, a boy who finds himself moved against his will from New Jersey to Nevada because of dad's new job, and his blossoming friendship with the neighbor girl Roona. Gideon hopes they can
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved the characters, and I think my students will too! Just the right mix of sad (we're very into sad right now) with a touch of magical realism, which my firm fans of realistic fiction are enjoying! Gideon is miserable when his family moves from New Jersey to empty, hot Nevada. But the girl next door, with her roller skates and swimsuit-over-clothes aesthetic is very intriguing. Could she be the friend he needs to stave off a summer's worth of boredom and loneliness before 7th grade? Luckily ...more
Susan Stewart
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
The Astonishing Maybe by Shaunta Grimes is one of those remarkable books that will stay with you for a long time. The characters, both major and minor, are fully developed. They felt like people I could have known. And the plot, with its many issues like mental illness, abandonment, and child abuse, is handled sensitively and with great finesse. These are issues made clear but open to a discussion between the reader and other people.

I follow Grimes on a site called I love how she
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an advanced copy through my ARC group.

This is a great middle grade story about kids from very different families who become fast friends. Gideon comes from a loving, if smotheringly overprotective family. Roona has a dad who has been MIA all her life and a mother battling mental illness. Gideon is very babied, while Roona often has to play the adult.

Despite, our because of, these differences they quickly become friends when Gideon moves in next door. This friendship leads to a
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rounded up from 4.5 stars. Roona gives a new meaning to the girl next door. When Gideon gets his first glimpse of her through the window of their car, he compares her to a space alien. Then he gets to know Super Roo. This book is full of heart, with some magic realism baked in and adventure, too. You will root for Gideon and Roona who share a love for the Hobbit and bring out each other's inner Bilbo.

Thank you to MacMillan and NetGalley or a digital ARC of this debut children's book in exchange
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gideon and Roona meet during the summer before their seventh grade year at school. She's a little quirky, he's not too adventurous, but their lives change dramatically within a short period of time. At times humorous, at times very serious, THE ASTONISHING MAYBE is proof positive that kids are resilient, strong friendships sometimes form quickly, and that there is hope for middle reader fiction beyond dystopian futures and multi-volume series. I look forward to reading what author Shaunta Grimes ...more
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved the relationship between the quirky Roona and the play-it-safe Gideon. This book explores deep themes of mental illness and absent parents, but adds a bit of magic too. Students (and adults) will love the unlikely friendship that develops in this story. I would recommend reading this book with students so that discussions can be shared. Thank you Macmillan Publishing for sharing this book with #litreviewcrew.
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was drawn to Roona because of her personality and her outgoingness. Even though Gideon and Roona are complete opposites they get along so well. I cannot believe that because of Roona, Gideon breaks all of his family rules. Such a good book. I will confess that at first the book was so boring that I almost stopped reading it. If I did I would have regretted it because this book right here was sooo good.
Amanda Johnson
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great read about the struggles pre-teens face. Doing the right thing, isn't always easy.
Making new friends is hard, especially when you are new in town. Gideon and Roona find fast friendship when Gideon moves next door. Gideon is used to following the rules, and Roona lives in a world of freedom, magic pies, and secrets. Gideon soon learns he has a difficult decision to make, when he learns one secret that will put Roona in danger. A secret Roona begs him to keep.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. I thought the author did a great job of bringing the characters alive, and taking them on an adventure, in a limited space. This book often references The Hobbit, and it would have been a really interesting one to read in the classroom after we finished the Hobbit. There's a lot of great discussion available here and it would be an excellent 4th-6th grade read aloud/book study.
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