Sweet Thang by Allison Whittenberg

I laughed out loud a few times while I read Sweet Thang by Allison Whittenberg. I couldn’t get enough of that sassy six-year-old, Tracy John Upshaw, fifteen-year-old Charmaine’s little cousin who moves into her Dardon, PA, home after his mother dies. It takes a while for Tracy John to grow on Charmaine, but I liked him from the start. He reminded me of one of those Arnold (“Diffr’nt Strokes”) characters or that little boy on the Doritos commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. Here’s what I’m talking about: In one scene, Tracy John is watching a game with his uncle when he goes into the kitchen and tells his aunt, “Give me a cold beer.”

The book is set in 1975, but if the author didn’t mention it, a reader probably wouldn’t notice. Charmaine changes her mind about Tracy John fairly quickly but that doesn’t matter because seeing them get along is just as entertaining as seeing them at each other’s throat.

When Z finishes with Standing Against the Wind by Traci L. Jones, I’m giving him this one.