The Stepmom Shake-Up -- a new middle grade novel about family and change


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This week I am back to work and going to start by sharing a new middle grade novel. Even on my stay-cation I did the Black Lives Matter Series and Who's In the Backyard? Series, but today I will bring back my book reviews. We will start with The Stepmom Shake-up by Niki Lenz.

Grace and her pastor father have been through change. Her mother died a few years ago, and they had to figure out how to get along without her. They grew extra close and became a team, which her dad, Davy, affectionately calls Team Gravy. When some of the older women at the church suggest it is time for Pastor Davy to start dating and finding a new wife Grace cannot believe it. And when he starts actually dating Grace has to put an end to it. She doesn't want anyone to mess with Team Gravy. She recruits her best friend who doesn't usually break any rules to put an end to the idea of a stepmom. The pranks for the dates are entertaining and add some great humor to the book. When Grace realizes she is actually hurting her dad she has to decide what to do. Maybe there could be the right person to add to the team.

This book is fun. I love how each person is going through their own changes. Pastor Davy is lonely and needs some female companionship. Grace is afraid of losing her father. Her best friend, Bea, has a new adopted little brother to deal with and watching her parents try to take care of a toddler. Bea feels like she is losing her family and her parents' attention. This book is all about change and adjusting to life. Davy and Grace love history--American history in particular and that adds another whole element to the book. I will admit I knew the perfect addition to the family from the start of the book, but the story is fun to read and very real life. The emotions that are dealt with by the girls as each of their families change are real and often felt by kids going through similar changes. It is a wonderful read and definitely a book girls aged 8 to 12 will love whether they are dealing with these kind of changes or not. Oh, and in the end change is good! Love that lesson!