I am partial to the name Lara, having lived with it my entire life, and so I automatically liked Lara Phelps from the beginning. Once I got to know her better, though, I liked her even more. What an incredible spirit! Such a remarkable young lady! I was disappointed in the ending, just a bit. I didn’t want Lara to leave; I wanted her to stay and continue to teach the others by example that it’s okay to be different. Laney’s writing style is adorable; she is also teaching by example with her choice of chapter headings and her subtle explanations about why she is covering certain things at certain points in the story. Laney is careful to not insert herself too much into the story, but readers learn enough about her pitiful home life to know that Laney could have used a friend like Lara Phelps.
Highly recommended for grades 4-7.