Summary (from Goodreads):
“A debut middle grade novel about a girl named Ratchet and her quest to make a friend, save a park, and find her own definition of normal. Ratchet tells her story through the assignments in her homeschool journal.
If only getting a new life were as easy as getting a new notebook.
But it’s not.
It’s the first day of school for all the kids in the neighborhood. But not for me. I’m homeschooled. That means nothing new. No new book bag, no new clothes, and no friends – old or new. The best I’ve got is this notebook. I’m supposed to use it for my writing assignments, but my dad never checks. Here’s what I’m really going to use it for:
Ratchet’s Top Secret Plan
Project Goal: turn my old, recycled, freakish, friendless, motherless life into something shiny and new.
This year, I’m going make something change.”
This book is absolutely charming. I fell completely in book-love with Ratchet immediately, and she’s definitely one of those characters that you won’t forget.
I also felt so awful for Ratchet. The fact that her mom died is obviously so painful for her and her dad refuses to talk about it (or the mom at all) and Ratchet basically desperately wants two things: any sort of information about her mom so that she can be more like her and a friend.
And that broke my heart, because those are two very, very small wishes, you know? Because most people have friends and have the (to Ratchet, at least) luxury of knowing their moms or at least knowing ABOUT them.
But this isn’t a completely sad book. Ratchet is one of those irrepressible girls and reading it, I just knew that things would work out for her. (And, spoiler, they do. But you have to read to find out how.)