Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg (NY: Aladdin, 2010).
Twelve-year-old Milo has just moved into yet another new house (his fifth home!), but he hopes this one will be better, even though he is still coping with the loss of mother. He feels he has a grip on the "new school" issues, until he sneezes on the prettiest girl, Summer. His suave alias, Dabney St. Claire, might know what to say, but Milo can only stutter "sorry." While he's crushing on Summer, his neighbor Hillary leaves him endless purple notes, and his best friend Marshall realistically tells him that he's dreaming if he thinks he has any long-term hopes for Summer.
Funny yet poignant with comic and sad moments interspersed, Milo's struggles will strike a chord with many kids who awkwardly long to fit in. That Milo is also dealing with the death of a parent makes his struggles more compelling. Silberberg's cartoonish drawings brilliantly capture Milo's travails. Highly recommended for ages 8 and up (grades 3-6).
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