Open If You Dare (Hardcover)
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Like Birdie Adams didn’t have enough problems this summer. But Birdie’s Birdie. And if a long-buried box has "Open if you dare" written on its lid, then Birdie and her best friends, Ally and Rose, are going to open it.
And now, along with everything else that’s going on—Ally’s pitching slump, Rose’s banishment to Britain, and Birdie’s annoying younger sister being, you know, annoying—the best friends are caught up in solving a mystery planted by a dead girl forty years ago.
About the Author
Dana Middleton grew up in Georgia before moving to Los Angeles to work in film and theater. She produced the Academy Award–nominated short film Down on the Waterfront and was part of the award-winning cast of La Gioconda, while nurturing her real passion of writing for children. She is the author of The Infinity Year of Avalon James and Open if You Dare. Dana lives in sunny Hollywood with her British husband, author Peter Atkins.
"Middleton displays the depths of preteen female friendships in the girls’ dialogue and in Birdie’s uncertainty about who she will be without her two best friends. Letting go of others and finding your individuality is a familiar theme, but it is freshly imagined here. Birdie, whose mother is white and father is black, lives in a distinctly contemporary world. She is aware that to some, her biracial identity represents a progressive future. But she is also aware of the subtle prejudices she has to deal with that her white friends do not. Such issues are not the focus of the story but are realistically woven into Birdie’s daily life. In the end, the girls discover that the central mystery is not as nefarious as it seems. By solving the case, Birdie gains the courage to carry on without Ally and Rose always by her side. A bittersweet, empowering ode to growing up and embracing change."--Horn Book
"The author of The Infinity Year of Avalon Jones (2016), Middleton sets the story in Atlanta and peoples it with well-drawn individuals from different generations. Birdie makes mistakes and, as narrator, lets readers in on her thoughts as events, others’ comments, and personal reflection gradually shift her perspective. Each element of the story resonates more fully through Middleton’s strong portrayal of the girls’ intricately interwoven friendship. A rewarding chapter book"--Booklist Online