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The Astonishing Maybe

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  37 reviews
A middle-grade novel about a girl searching for her father and the boy who helps her find him.

Gideon hates the idea of moving to Nevada from the East Coast. It's so empty and hot in his new neighborhood. Only one person his age lives nearby: the girl next door, Roona.

Gid notices right away that Roona is . . . different. She wears roller skates and a blanket as a cape when
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Feiwel Friends
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4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  74 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Samantha (WLABB)
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, mg, arcs, contemporary
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  ·  review of another edition
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. S
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Shaye Miller
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 pu
Katie Reilley
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 depres
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 c
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
Ms. Yingling
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
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.

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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Cindy Stein
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, other-fiction
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
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 f ...more
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 serie
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 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
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
This book is about many things, but what resonated the most with me is making choices when dealing with mental health issues. I do agree with whoever said that this book is similar in story and tone to ABOUT A BOY (the movie, not the book, as I've only seen the movie and not read the book). I liked how the story wrapped up in the end.
Mrs J E Jones
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tugs at the heartstrings

This story is well written and gives the reader plenty to think about. From absent fathers and depressed mothers to helicopter parents. Everyone wants what’s best and for everyone to feel loved. Roona and Gideon make a great double act and I hope they have more adventures in the future.
Dana Kumerow
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book on one sitting! It is an amazing story of friendship and adventure with a bit of magic thrown in. I enjoyed Gideon's transformation from reluctant side-kick to becoming Roona's champion. I loved the tie-in to The Hobbit and the hero's journey that Shaunta Grimes employed. Highly recommended.
Dani Marting
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So enjoyed this book! Read it in one sitting. Very compelling read and ultimately left me in genuine tears.

A Lovely read about kids that are dealing with some very heavy, adult realities and the friends that see their pain and do all they can to help rescue them.

Highly recommend for the young teen crowd but enjoyed it as an adult as well.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I thought this story was sweet and I liked the touch of magical realism. The characters were well developed and the plot was tight. I'm not sure I would have much of an audience for it in my middle school library, but I will definitely recommend it to the fans of contemporary fiction.
Shelly Stewart
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it!!!!

Shaunta Grimes has written an amazing story about friendship and family. The characters are wonderfully imperfect, resilient and believable. The story is truly heartwarming!! Every one should read it!
Katlyn Duncan
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.
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.
Cynthia Jackson
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great story that just tugs at the heart strings.
Emily Myhren
I enjoyed the story but the magical realism was left undeveloped.
Brenda Schneider
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good middle grade story. I liked the characters. I enjoyed that the story shows that friends can be different. I won this book through goodreads.
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