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5.0 7
by Jessica Lee Anderson

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Trudy's having a hard time at school: math class isn't going well, and her best friend, the one she pinky-swore she would always be friends with, has found a new group to hang out with. To top things off, her parents are old — really old — and while she loves them with all her heart, she dislikes it when other people mistake them for her grandparents


Trudy's having a hard time at school: math class isn't going well, and her best friend, the one she pinky-swore she would always be friends with, has found a new group to hang out with. To top things off, her parents are old — really old — and while she loves them with all her heart, she dislikes it when other people mistake them for her grandparents. When Trudy's father starts acting strangely, Trudy and her mother can't figure out what the problem is. But when he forgets to pick Trudy up from school and starts to put groceries away in the wrong place, they decide to take him to the doctor. Once Trudy's father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Trudy and her mother are faced with some tough decisions.

This is a touching, beautifully told story that young people relate to, particularly those who have parents or grandparents dealing with an illness. Trudy’s challenges and her strength in dealing with them make her a heroine with whom young readers identify.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Trudy White's middle school career is not going particularly well. Her best friend has dumped her, her math grades stink, and everyone at school, including her teacher, thinks her parents are her grandparents because they are so old. Trudy's math teacher tells her that she is in danger of being put into a lower math class if she can't pull her grades up. Luckily, Trudy is befriended by Roshanda, nicknamed "Tower" because she is so tall. Roshanda is a math whiz and, in the course of tutoring Trudy, the two become fast friends. While things at school improve, Trudy's home life is changing. Her father, who is more than 70, begins to exhibit troubling signs of forgetfulness and is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. In a very short period of time, life changes dramatically for Trudy. Instead of being cared for by her father, she is the one who helps her mother care for him. By portraying Trudy's relationship with her aging and ill father, author Jessica Lee Anderson offers a tender and interesting twist on the traditional awkward-middle-school experience, and introduces middle readers to the concepts of aging and mortality in a sensitive and thoughtful way. 2005, Milkweed Editions, Ages 9 up.
—Lauri Berkenkamp
Trudy's parents are not just old; they are ancient. They were fifty-three and sixty-two when they had Trudy, and as she enters middle school, her Ma and Pop are generally assumed to be her grandparents. As Trudy deals with the issues of adolescence-fitting in, making new friends, and figuring out algebra-she must face something her classmates will not soon experience in the gradual decline of a loved parent. Her best friend, Roshanda; an encouraging teacher; and her courageous mother support Trudy as she struggles with these challenges and as her comfortable family unit becomes irreversibly altered. This debut effort is the winner of the Milkweed Prize for Children's Literature and is a respectable effort as an Alzheimer's related story. Unlike others of the genre, it does not rely on dire circumstances to give weight to the story, nor does it read like a medical pamphlet. Trudy's Pop losing his passion for his beloved garden and forgetting who his only daughter is provides plenty of drama. Brief chapters provide insight into key moments but sometimes lack coherence and flow. Trudy's parents are thinly drawn and difficult to connect with. Female readers whose families are struggling with an Alzheimer's patient might gain comfort from the story, but others are unlikely to be enthusiastic. Barbara Park's The Graduation of Jake Moon (Atheneum/S & S, 2000) may be a better suggestion for boys. VOYA CODES: 2Q 2P M (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2005, Milkweed Editions, 169p., and Trade pb. Ages 11 to 14.
—Catherine Gilmore-Clough
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Trudy faces many challenges as she begins classes at Benavidez Middle School. She loses her best friend, discovers she is hopeless at math, and is embarrassed by the fact that everyone assumes her elderly parents are her grandparents. While struggling to overcome her loneliness and failing schoolwork, she is befriended by a classmate, and things begin to look brighter. At home, however, Trudy notices that her father repeats himself and gets confused. He even calls her by his sister's name. Then he is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. With the help of her sympathetic English teacher, Trudy sees that she can make the most of the situation as the family works hard to create memories. Ultimately, Trudy learns that she should focus on the things she can change rather than those that are beyond her control. This quiet story is well paced, flowing through very short chapters. It offers a matter-of-fact, yet unique look at one family's changing dynamics. Pair it with Barbara Park's The Graduation of Jake Moon (S & S, 2000) for another perspective on this theme.-Alison Grant, West Bloomfield Township Public Library, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Milkweed Editions
Publication date:
Milkweed Prize for Children's Literature
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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Trudy 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was great.i could really relate to trudy in this book and i recommend it to anyone,especially if you know anyone with dimensia/parkinson's etc.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I began reading this book, I couldn't put it down until the end. It really is an award-winning book! The middle school aspect of it is just as I remember--trying hard to fit in, and then making friends with someone you never thought a likely choice. This is a story that both young and old alike will identify with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great family story with heart. Both young and old folks would get something out of reading it. My grandfather has Alzhiemer's and has alot in common with Pop.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so different and I read it all in about 5 hours. It made me think of my grandparents. I want to know what happens after the last sentence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Trudy is a poignant story told from the perspective of a precocious girl named Trudy. Like her classmates and her best friend Tower, Trudy experiences the turmoil of transitioning into a young adult. However, Trudy must also cope with her father¿s perplexing new behavior. Both heartwarming and heart wrenching, Trudy confronts the effects of Alzheimer¿s disease from a unique perspective ¿ through the eyes of a young girl. I recommend this book especially to anyone dealing with Alzheimer¿s disease.