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Ten-year-old Lexie used to love going to the shore. For as long as she can remember, she's spent every summer there with her parents, eating hamburgers, swimming in the ocean, and combing the beach for treasure. This summer is going to be different though. Lexie's mom and daddy are divorced, and for the first time Mom won't be there. To make matters worse, Daddy has a surprise--his new girlfriend, Vicky, and her two sons are coming to stay with them for a week! Now Lexie has to share her house with perky Vicky, Vicky's moody teenage son Ben, and messy three-year-old Harris. The little beach house just doesn't seem big enough for so many people. Is there still room for Lexie? In a voice that's sharp, funny, and sincere, Newbery Honor-winning author Audrey Couloumbis tells the story of a girl discovering that if you pay attention, sometimes you can find treasure in the most unlikely places. Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, June 2011:. "As she did in Jake (BCCB 12/10), Couloumbis demonstrates her skill at writing with quiet understanding and unstudied polish for younger readers. Her ability to walk through complicated emotional dynamics in kid-accessible impressive, making Lexie a perceptive narrator but not requiring her to be implausibly sophisticated." - From the Publisher. "A big part of growing up is dealing with things we don't like," says 10-year-old Lexie's recently divorced mother when Lexie laments that her mother won't be part of this year's beach vacation. These words ring all the truer when Lexie's father informs her that his girlfriend and her children will be joining them. Lexie must move out of her bedroom into a closetlike space; aloof teenager Ben calls her father by his first name ("I didn't like it that he sounded like he'd known Daddy longer than I had"); and toddler Harris is a pest. Through Lexie's thoughtful, candid voice, Newbery Honor author Couloumbis (Getting Near to Baby) credibly conveys her ricocheting emotions and gradual acceptance of the new individuals in her life; Denos's loose b&w spot illustrations give readers a taste of the casual oceanside setting. Lexie's loyalty to her mother runs deep; when she learns that her father will remarry, she wonders, "Who was going to tell my mother?... I didn't want to know this if Mom didn't." Readers experiencing similar transitions should welcome this incisive yet gentle portrayal of adjusting to change. Ages 8-12. (May) - Publishers Weekly. Gr 3-5--Spending time at the beach house on the Jersey shore is filled with tradition and ritual, and 10-year-old Lexie has always loved it--until this year. It's the first summer after her parents' divorce, and everything has changed, especially when she discovers en route that she and her dad won't be alone. He neglected to tell her that his new girlfriend and her sons will be spending the entire week with them. Lexie finds herself sharing a small space with a woman who doesn't know the house rules and who sounds whiny; an adolescent boy; and an eternally grubby preschooler. She also sees a side of her father that is new to her. Lexie makes a keenly observant narrator, a believable only child who has spent much more time around adults than the average kid. Tuned in to emotions, both hers and those of the people around her, she makes a fine reporter as the two families work toward creating a new kind of normal. The characters seem remarkably real. Each one is flawed but also, by turns, warm, sympathetic, and likable. The action is largely interpersonal, yet the depiction of the ebb and flow of family life by an insider turned observer is a memorable testament to its importance in our lives. Readers will continue to think about Lexie's family and their own long after reading the last page.--Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library District, Elgin, IL - School Library Journal. Quietly and ever so gently, Couloumbis explores the topics of divorce and remarriage and how they affect the children involved. Ten-year-old Lexie is off for a week at her family's beach cottage on the Jersey Shore, reluctantly leaving her mother behind for the first time since her parents' recent divorce. What she doesn't expect is that her father has invited his new "friend," Vicky, and her two children, 14-year-old Ben and 3-year-old always-sticky Harris, who makes constant truck noises, endearingly preferring to be called Mack--for the truck, of course. Vicky's Mary Tyler Moore smile, perpetually pasted on her face, makes her real feelings hard to read, and Ben's a bit prickly. What's worse is that Lexie didn't see it coming; her father, afraid of her reaction, hadn't told her this relationship is serious. The cottage is small, so all of them quite believably get in each other's way while exploring what this new family might feel like. Lexie's fears--becoming a guest in her father's house and that her mother will be deeply hurt--are valid, but her worries are eased by the loving relationships surrounding her. Convincing characters and solid dialogue enhance the credible plot, which is more focused on feelings than action. This tender, realistic tale might go a long way toward soothing the doubts of many children who are dealing with similarly trying situations. (Fiction. 9-12). - Kirkus Reviews