Absolutely Almost

Absolutely Almost

by Lisa Graff


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399164057
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 06/12/2014
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 553,072
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Lisa Graff is the National Book Award nominated author of A Tangle of Knots, Double Dog Dare, Umbrella Summer, The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower,The Thing About Georgie and Sophie Simon Solves Them All. Originally from California, she lived for many years in New York City and now makes her home just outside of Philadelphia. You can visit her online at www.lisagraff.com or follow her on Twitter @lisagraff.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Rocks

Excerpted from "Absolutely Almost"
by .
Copyright © 2014 Lisa Graff.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Sue Gifford

Gr 4-6–Albie, an only child living in New York City, has learning difficulties. No matter how hard he tries to give the correct change to the takeout delivery guy, or get all his spelling words correct, he inevitably fails to get it right. When readers meet the fifth-grader, he’s just left his fancy private school and is about to be the new kid at public school. His dad is mostly absent and forgetful, except when demanding that Albie try harder. His mom tells him that Dav Pilkey’s “Captain Underpants” (Scholastic) is for babies, and gives him Esther Forbes’s Johnny Tremain instead. His exacting Korean grandfather predicts that he will end up in a ditch. At school, despite some sympathetic teachers, he is bullied and teased. His only friend is Betsy, reserved and bullied herself. Things begin to change when Albie gets a new babysitter. Calista is an artist and definitely unusual: she makes a cover for Albie’s Captain Underpants that says “Johnny Tremain.” She takes him for donuts and to art exhibits and, most importantly, she likes him for who he is. Albie’s just-believable naiveté leads him into social difficulties as he is given an opportunity to be one of the “cool” kids, even though this entails abandoning his friendship with Betsy. Despite the fact that Graff is scrupulously honest in refusing to provide a conveniently happy ending, Albie comes through significant emotional hardship to a genuine sense of self-worth. Albie himself would find this book inviting at first glance: short chapters, an accessible sans serif font, and plenty of white space, and even his mom might think it acceptable for a fifth grader.

Elissa Gershowitz

Ten-year-old New Yorker Albie is starting at P.S. 183, having been kicked out of his fancy prep school because of low grades. Albie tries hard, but he’s a middle-of-the-road (at best) student, an “almost,” as he calls it. At his new school, he starts a tentative friendship with fellow outcast Betsy, who has a stutter, and he’s buoyed by small successes in math club and on spelling tests. Most importantly, though, his new babysitter, Calista, is a sympathetic adult. Her low-key approach to confidence-boosting includes teaching him to draw superheroes and taking him to the zoo for a “sad day” after a particularly challenging day of school—which, unfortunately, leads to her dismissal. Like Kevin Henkes’s Billy Miller (The Year of Billy Miller, rev. 9/13), Albie is a sweet, vulnerable kid who just needs a little extra help and to whom readers may well relate. Short chapters—some just one page—add to the story’s accessibility and keep the pace moving. The characters are well rounded, and, gratifyingly, even Albie’s seemingly single-minded, results-driven parents come through for him in the end.

From the Publisher

Rave reviews for Absolutely Almost!

" Graff’s gentle story invokes evergreen themes of coming to appreciate one’s strengths (and weaknesses), and stands out for its thoughtful, moving portrait of a boy who learns to keep moving forward, taking on the world at his own speed.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Achingly superb, Albie’s story shines.” - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“…Albie comes through significant emotional hardship to a genuine sense of self-worth.” – SLJ, starred review

“Beautifully written, Albie’s story is accessible and dignified, with a gentle message that will touch any reader’s heart. Middle-grade readers will love the references to Dav Pilkey’s inexhaustibly popular Captain Underpants series, which has introduced so many children to the fun side of reading. A perfect book to share with struggling readers.” - Booklist, starred review


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Absolutely Almost 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lov this book AND lisa Graff. You should really get this book. You won't regret it- I promise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is good i have it at home