Recommended for Readers
in Grades 5 and up
2014 - NCTE Notable Children's Book
She and her father never have enough money, but Ratchet knows more about engines than most people. She's looking to find a friend and some answers about her mother, who died when she was five. Ratchet's father is passionately committed to environmental causes, but it sometimes gets him into trouble. Ratchet is trying to balance her unfashionable, sometimes embarrassing, homeschooling father's priorities with whatever her own will be.
This book is very accessible for fifth graders. In spite of the too-common missing parent theme, this book avoids being too sentimental. Readers who like this book might also like The Red Thread Sisters, which is a different issue (adoption to a US family from China), but also explores the tension between what your family is and what you might think it ought to look like.
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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