Recommended for Readers
in Grades 6 and up
Zachary's mother leaves, so he and his father pick up and start over in a new town, where he meets the titular Rachel and her brother, Teddy.
The title is great and the writing is clever. There is nice treatment of a variety of community members (often books try to portray eccentric townspeople and it just gets weird or overdone). I also liked the way the main character deals with his mother's absence, and her proposed return - it strikes me as very genuine for all concerned. Rachel was the big disappointment for me - she has this big reputation, but I want to admire her badness more - she's missing some edge. I appreciate the treatment of music: the descriptions are so genuine. Plenty of authors let their characters play instruments, but this one really knows his stuff.
The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.
**Questions coming soon**
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