Matylda, Bright and Tender
Matylda, Bright and Tender
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Annotation: Sussy and Guy are best friends, fourth-graders who share their silliest thoughts and deepest hopes. One afternoon, the two of them decide they must have something of their very own to love, so they visit the pet store and bring home a spotted lizard, naming it Matylda.
Catalog Number: #138216
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 210 p.
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-8951-3
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-8951-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017931503
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviewing Agencies:
ALA Booklist (Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 CST 2017)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (Tue Aug 01 00:00:00 CDT 2017)
Publishers Weekly
All Formats: Search
Word Count: 35,527
Reading Level: 4.2
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.2 / points: 5.0 / quiz: 190733 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 620L

In a courageous debut novel, Holly M. McGhee explores the loss that shakes one girl’s world — and the unexpected consequences of the things we do for love.

Sussy and Guy are best friends, fourth-graders who share their silliest thoughts and deepest hopes. One afternoon, the two of them decide they must have something of their very own to love. After a trip to the pet store, they bring home a spotted lizard, the one with the ancient face and starfish toes, and they name her Matylda (with a y so it’s all her own). With Guy leading the way, they feed her and give her an origin story fit for a warrior lizard. A few weeks later, on a simple bike ride, there is a terrible accident. As hard as it is, Sussy is sure she can hold on to Guy if she can find a way to love Matylda enough. But in a startling turn of events, Sussy reconsiders what it means to grieve and heal and hope and go on, for her own sake and Matylda’s. By turns both devastating and buoyant, this story is a brave one, showing how far we can justify going for a real and true friend.


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