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Center of Gravity

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  18 reviews
In Shaunta Grimes' middle-grade novel Center of Gravity, a girl loses her mom, and her dad remarries quickly, so she must rebuild her life and friendships.

Tessa is an anxious person, but it's become worse since her mother died a few months ago. To calm herself down she cuts out photos of missing kids--from milk cartons--and keeps them in a file. It helps her feel like she'
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 24th 2020 by Feiwel & Friends
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  67 ratings  ·  18 reviews


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Melanie  Brinkman
Doing the best you can is enough.

Nothing has been the same since Tessa's mother died a few months ago. Longing to feel a little less alone, she cuts out the photos of missing children from the milk cartons and keeps them in a file. It's the only thing that quiets her anxiety. But the world's not done spinning. Her friends drift away, and her father announces he's getting married to his pregnant fiance. Then Tessa's forced to move and leave everything she knows behind. More distressed and anxious
...more
Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)
Shaunta Grimes’ Center of Gravity is realistic, moving, and inspiring. This fast-paced middle-grade novel highlights a young girl’s struggle to deal with her mother’s death while adjusting to a newly blended family with a new stepmother and step-sibling on the way. If you enjoy middle-grade books about blended families, children dealing with death and grief, or ones about friendships, you’ll enjoy this one. Honestly, it deserves better ratings than it currently has on Goodreads! I would definite ...more
Katie Reilley
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the author and Fiewel & Friends for sharing an ARC with #bookexpedition.

Set in 1985, seventh grade Tessa has a lot on her shoulders. Her mom has recently passed away from cancer, her best friend is pulling away, and her dad is working later and later at his school. To keep her anxiety in check, Tessa collects the photos of missing kids on milk cartons and memorizes their information. It helps her feel like she’s not alone.

To add to these changes, Tessa’s dad shares that the reason
...more
Naomi
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don't love the end, which leaves two children dangling from it. Other than that though, this novel rings true on a number of levels. Nothing is perfect, everyone is a bit complex and also a bit fuzzy around the edges of our main character's understanding, and the plot isn't so complex as to feel fabricated in any way. A lovely piece of realism ...more
Breelynd Huntley
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
The one thing that you really have to remember with this book is that it's set in 1985 and you can't forget it, otherwise things don't make sense, like a shotgun wedding and possibly being fired for getting a girl pregnant out of wedlock.

Yes this is a children's book and the father in this book makes so many bad choices that it leads to what I said above as well as his daughter developing anxiety and possible OCD. Poor Tessa has lost her mom only 18 months ago when she's forced to move states a
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Ikshita
Mar 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
I did not finish the book, but so far it is good!
Beck
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2020
Some of my favorite books are the ones that are a little bit sad. Okay a lot a bit sad. Ones that are painfully realistic, but culminate in a resounding message of hope. I love middle grade novels that show the strength kids possess. We'd like to think that people under a certain age are shielded from dealing with tough "grown up" things, but that's just not true. Whether it's dealing with anxiety, loneliness, poverty, abuse, absent parents, moving, or sudden changes to family, there's no age re ...more
Mary
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It is solidly middle grade, with great character development. It takes place in 1985 but mostly that some through while talking about hairstyles and the fact the kids play foosball instead of video games. There is family drama, OCD behavior, a move, and new friendships. The characters are likable with realistic problems that kids face today (death, finding new friends, family problems). I liked seeing the relationships Tessa developed with her stepmother and “The Lose ...more
Ms. Yingling
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Netgalley



In 1985, Tessa is still dealing with her mother's death from cancer within the last year. Her mother had been a nurse in Vietnam, and her father, a history teacher, has been staying at work later and later since the mother's death. Tessa has taken to saving the pictures of missing children from milk cartons, and has a file of them that bring her comfort but also embarrasses her because she has a compulsion to go through all of the milk cartons at school until she finds
...more
Sierra Dertinger
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set in the 1980's, 7th-grader Tessa lives in Denver, Colarado with her dad. Her mother died of cancer a few months ago. Since then she's been struggling with her anxiety; she copes best with her milk cartons. The problem is that every time she sees a crate of milk cartons she has to flip over every single one in case she find a kid who she doesn't have in her collection. On the back of all milk cartons are the faces of children who are missing, courtesy of The National Center of Missing and Expl ...more
Christine
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meredith
Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley-reads
This is a middle grade book that reminds me of a lot of other books out there. It follows the story of 7th grader Tessa who is struggling to cope with grief after the loss of her mother. Her dad, a character I really didn’t like, gets a 23 years old pregnant and they decide to get married. The same day Tessa meets this woman is the same day she finds out she is going to have her as a step mother with a sibling on the way. She also will have to move to a new state! This book has strong themes of ...more
Dusti Falgoust
Mar 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Tessa just wants to be a normal middle schooler. She is in so many ways except for the fact she has a compulsion to collect missing kids off of milk cartons and she just can’t make herself stop. It all started after her mom passed away. Then, her dad comes home with a big announcement, and her entire life changes once again. She has to learn how to deal with the changes, handle her deep grief, and make (and hopefully keep) new friends.

What a powerful, simple MG novel. This book will rip your hea
...more
LS Johnson
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved this book about a young girl whose whole life seems to be turned upside quickly and unexpectedly. I initially was discouraged because I thought most of the adults in the book were acting irresponsibly and I didn’t want the book to be a display of children acting more mature than the adults. But the story moved along on a better trajectory when it turned to focus more on the relationship between the Tessa and her new group of maybe friends. I liked the fact that Tessa knew her obsession w ...more
Sheyenne Michelizzi
Feb 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I received an advanced reader's edition of the book. The book is geared for kids aged 8-12, and even though I'm in my 30s, I found the story interesting enough. While the main character's are dealing with some grown up issues, loss of parents/siblings, new step parents, cross-country moves...the author does a good job at keeping them age appropriate. It's not a light hearted, super fun read, but isn't one to skip either. ...more
Shelly Stewart
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing story telling!!!!

Shaunta is a true artist with an amazing gift for telling a truly compelling story. She drew me into the story immediately and I did not want to put it down once.
Lisa Momblanco
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed this YA novel by Shaunta Grimes. I got wrapped up in the story and related well with the main character, Tessa, as well as with her dad and stepmom. It was quite a quick read for me!
I thought the story wrapped up well, but I still did not want it to end.
Michelle
Nov 19, 2020 rated it liked it
It was interesting, but it was hard for me to get into for some reason, so I didn't finish it. ...more
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