Finished Roll With It by Jamie Sumner. I received a copy for review.
Summary (from Goodreads):
“The story of an irrepressible girl with cerebral palsy whose life takes an unexpected turn when she moves to a new town.
Ellie’s a girl who tells it like it is. That surprises some people, who see a kid in a wheelchair and think she’s going to be all sunshine and cuddles. The thing is, Ellie has big dreams: She might be eating Stouffer’s for dinner, but one day she’s going to be a professional baker. If she’s not writing fan letters to her favorite celebrity chefs, she’s practicing recipes on her well-meaning, if overworked, mother.
But when Ellie and her mom move so they can help take care of her ailing grandpa, Ellie has to start all over again in a new town at a new school. Except she’s not just the new kid—she’s the new kid in the wheelchair who lives in the trailer park on the wrong side of town. It all feels like one challenge too many, until Ellie starts to make her first-ever friends. Now she just has to convince her mom that this town might just be the best thing that ever happened to them!”
This is an absolutely charming middlegrade novel. You’ll probably see a lot of things coming (Ellie doesn’t want to move but ends up loving her new home) but the way that things happen keeps anything from feeling stale.
I absolutely loved Ellie and her family. She has CP but the more interesting thing is that she’s also a baker. She’s already good but wants to get better so she can do that for a living. There’s a trope of the saintly sick person, but that isn’t Ellie. She’s kind but she can also be a bit of a brat. (I found it justified and I would imagine that it’s hard to always be Beth from Little Women when you can’t do anything by yourself.)
Jamie Sumner has a book out next year and one the year after, and I have very real hopes that they’ll be companion novels. I need one about Coralee and one about Bert immediately, please and thank you.