A Black girl sits next to her mom and dad on a couch, all smiling. She is pointing at a smartphone that they are looking at together.

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Parents' Guide to

The Thing About Leftovers

By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Tween finds her footing in bittersweet post-divorce tale.

Book C.C. Payne Emotions 2016
The Thing About Leftovers Poster Image

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This is an engaging portrayal of a plucky kid who loses her footing in the aftermath of a difficult divorce. Author C.C. Payne brings humor and insight into her character's point of view, which feels distinctively Southern in tone. In the context of a tight-knit Southern town, where ladies who lunch are preparing for the big horse derby, a kid from a "broken home" stands out more than her urban peers in other media portrayals of divorce. The tension is obvious for Fizzy, who somehow manages to keep her sense of self and her vision for her future intact, even when she feels as if "she doesn't have the right stuff." In this way, THE THING ABOUT LEFTOVERS is an important addition to the canon of books having to do with divorce and loss. It gives kids in more traditional environments a heroine to look up to. And Fizzy is sweet enough, lovable enough, and tough enough to be that heroine.

Fizzy's efforts to be noticed, the pain that she internalizes, and the process that she endures when coming to terms with her split family are spot on. Readers will feel for her and root for her. And for kids who are going through the family transitions that Fizzy is going through, her struggle will feel relatable and might offer a glimmer of hope to the tweens and teens out there who also feel like yesterday's leftovers.

Book Details

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