Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the FacePaperback - 2012
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Who was Rachel Spinelli and why did she punch Zachary?
In this story, Zachery is discovering that friendships and relationships are often complicated. Despite that, he’s much happier now than a few months ago.
He and his dad have made a fresh start in the small town of Falls, Connecticut after Zach’s mom left their home in Colorado. Things are working out quite well. Zach’s dad enjoys his new job and Zachary enjoys his school. Both are involved in their new community and have made close friends – like their neighbour, Teddy, a high-functioning developmentally-delayed teen who plays the trumpet beautifully, and his protective sister, Rachel.
Zach keeps himself busy with his friends and with school, but when he slows down and thinks about his mom, he always has questions. How could she have left? Were things really that bad, and where is she now?
Rachel and Teddy have lost their mom too. Her ashes are in an urn in the living room, so in a way she is still with the family. The siblings and their father miss their mother intensely but have none of the bitterness that Zach feels toward his mother.
When his dad tells Zach that his mom is finally coming to visit, Zach must work through his confusion and anger before he can bring himself to forgive, even partially, his mother.
Author Paul Acampora tells Zach’s story in an engaging, light-hearted manner. The weighty topics of separation, death and loss are addressed, but made lighter by the healing powers of community, friends, forgiveness and music. The rather quirky but good-hearted characters who live in Falls bring humour to this engaging story, and an amusing but insightful interview with the author at the end of the book is a bonus for readers.
** Recommended for ages 10 to 14 years.
After his mother leaves for an exciting life on a cruise ship, Zach and his dad leave Colorado and start a new life in Connecticut. Neighbor girl and her older brother, Polish couple who own the ice cream shop, music teacher and others welcome in this duo. May-August goes by and finally Zach gets punched and his mom comes to visit and they begin to sort things out.
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