Being West is Best by Monique Bucheger
About the Book
Book: Being West is Best
Author: Monique Bucheger
Genre: Contemporary Middle Grade
Twelve-year-old BFFs, Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, are matchmaking geniuses. Together, they maneuvered Ginnie’s widower-dad into proposing to Tillie’s divorcee-mom. Sweet! Certain they are well on their way to sisterhood, each girl is floored when Tillie’s lousy-excuse-for-a-father puts in an appearance after a six year absence. Too bad “lousy dad repellant” doesn’t come in a can.
Even though Tillie’s dad has sobered up and is determined to make amends, Tillie would rather he just disappear again. If he stays, “Operation: Secret Sisters” may need to be renamed “Operation: Not Gonna Happen.”
If that’s not bad enough, the biggest bully in seventh grade comes over often and wishes he could call the West’s farmhouse “home.” When the bully’s abusive dad shows up as well, Ginnie thinks it’s time to change her family’s motto from “When you’re here, you’re family” to “There’s no more room at the West’s.”
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My Thoughts . . .
This middle-grade book is filled with a large cast of characters and plenty of complicated family drama. It is well written and tackles some challenging issues. According to the author (who is "a former foster mom to over 100 foster kids"), her goal is to "give a voice to kids who feel voiceless and invisible." She allows Tillie to say things that I think a lot of kids would keep bottled up inside. There are many attitudes and situations that I would want to address as a parent if I had a child reading this book, so I would recommend parents read it along with their child(ren) and discuss those issues.
I was given a copy of this book for free. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.
About the Author
When Monique isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her 12 children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events.
Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy the journey that is her life. She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, twelve grand-darlings, too many cats, and many real and imaginary friends. She is the author of several books in three series and hopes to write many more.