The Speed of Life
The Speed of Life

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Annotation: Missing her mother who died last year, fourteen-year-old Sofia finds an anonymous outlet for her personal questions and deep, dark secrets in the Dear Kate advice columnist, until, much to her horror, Sofia's father starts dating Kate.
Catalog Number: #159847
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 326 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-492-66083-3 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1013-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-492-66083-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1013-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016004462
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Sofia, still reeling from the sudden death of her mother, finds comfort in her email correspondence with teen advice columnist "Dear Kate"--until she discovers that Kate is her dad's new girlfriend. Weston imparts insights about life and loss throughout, tracing Sofia's increasing maturity. Supported by sympathetic friends and family, Sofia faces each new challenge in her life with honesty, bravery, and humor.
Publishers Weekly
Weston (the Ava and Pip series) carefully explores grief, blended families, and first love as she follows 14-year-old Sofia Wolfe, whose mother died of a sudden aneurysm. With her mother gone, Sofia is facing the difficult realization that life goes on: -You can-t mourn forever. When you-re alive you have to live.- After Kate Baird, who writes the -Dear Kate- advice column for Fifteen magazine, visits her school, Sofia begins an email correspondence with her; complications arise when Sofia learns that Kate is the mystery woman her father has been dating. After she and her father move in with Kate and her teenage daughter, Alexa, Sofia must decide whether she will leave her Upper West Side private school for public school and pursue a relationship with Sam, Alexa-s ex. Each chapter represents a month, and readers spend a year with Sofia as Weston believably chronicles her transition from middle school to high school. Sofia-s growth-amid unexpected interest from boys, her first relationship, new additions to her family, and grief-is both relatable and moving. Ages 11-14. Agent: Susan Ginsberg, Writers House. (Apr.)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 7&11;10&12;It's January, and eighth grader Sofia's mother has now been dead for nine months. Disturbed that her dad has started dating so soon, Sofia, who is half Spanish, writes to Fifteen magazine's "Dear Kate" for advice. Kate's thoughtful response soon has Sofia writing back multiple times, asking many of the questions that a normal teen would ask her mom&12;if she still had one. Sofia is horrified to discover that the mystery woman her dad is dating is none other than Dear Kate herself! Does Sofia come clean or just disappear? This slice-of-life story echoes the author's own experience as a teen magazine advice columnist and addresses all sorts of issues: death, grieving, moving, parental dating, parental sexuality, stepsibling conflict, self-esteem, relationships, and more. This refreshing work tackles a lot of themes, but eventually Sofia does get to a better place. The target audience is likely to become engaged despite the slow pace, because Weston isn't afraid to tackle the squirm-inducing questions common to high school freshmen too embarrassed to seek sound information from reliable sources. VERDICT Purchase where sweet and charming character-driven fiction for tweens is in demand.&12;Elizabeth Friend, Wester Middle School, TX
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Fourteen-year-old Sofia Wolfe moves through life smiling with friends and hiding the sorrow of having lost her Spanish mother almost a year earlier. The only people she has to talk to are her abuelo in Spain, and garding girl things ear Kate," a teen-advice columnist with whom she can anonymously discuss personal matters. When Sofia's father reveals he's dating Kate, Sofia initially feels betrayed that he's moving on with his life when she can't. But just as things start to gel between Kate and Sofia, Kate's daughter Alexa and her ex-boyfriend complicate Sofia's life further. This novel is jam-packed with important, dramatic, and inevitable aspects of adolescence, from pimples to periods to popularity. On top of these concerns are potential developments that could "destroy" Sofia's life: having to move and attend a new school, becoming part of a blended family, navigating new friendship dynamics, and learning that people you look up to aren't always who you think they are. The narrative effectively contrasts the diversity of a city environment with that of suburban life, and any opportunity for over-the-top melodrama is tempered by the book's strong and likable narrator. Weston draws heavily on her years as "Dear Carol" at Girls' Life magazine, creating a solid, affecting tale of maturing and coming to grips with one's reality.
Word Count: 77,941
Reading Level: 4.3
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.3 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 188411 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.5 / points:19.0 / quiz:Q70973
Lexile: 630L

"Perceptive, funny, and moving ...I laughed out loud and I teared up while reading this novel. " -- New York Times Sofia lost her mother eight months ago, and her friends were 100% there for her. Now it's a new year and they're ready for Sofia to move on. Problem is, Sofia can't bounce back, can't recharge like a cellphone. She decides to write Dear Kate, an advice columnist for Fifteen Magazine, and is surprised to receive a fast reply. Soon the two are exchanging emails, and Sofia opens up and spills all, including a few worries that are totally embarrassing. Turns out even advice columnists don't have all the answers, and one day Sofia learns a secret that flips her world upside down. Speed of Life is the heartbreaking, heartwarming story of a girl who thinks her life is over when really it's just beginning. It's a novel about love, family, grief, and growing up. More Praise for Speed of Life: "A wonderful book that takes us from loss to laughter." --Richard Peck, author ofThe Best Manand Newbery Gold Medalist A Year Down Yonder "You won't want to put it down. But my advice is slow down and savor this delightful book, full of cariño, funny and heartfelt, and (spoiler alert) not just for teens." --Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies and Return to Sender

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