One of my favorite types of books to read are middle grade realistic fiction novels. Far From Fair by Elana K Arnold is a fantastic book that explores some hard topics in a way that is relatable to tweens.
Odette's family is selling their home and hitting the road on a bit of an adventure. At twelve, Odette is not excited at all to do this. It means leaving her best friend and home in southern California and spending a lot of time with her family in an RV. They are on their way to Washington, where they plan on helping Odette's Grandma Sissy, who is sick.
When they arrive at Odette's grandma's house, it is easy to see that her grandmother's cancer diagnosis is a lot different than the one she received years earlier when she fought breast cancer. Grandma Sissy is still embracing life, but she is aware that she will not get better this time.
Odette loves her grandma and can barely imagine her not beating cancer, but as she sees her health deteriorate, she is allowed to listen to her parents and grandmother discuss the right to die, which allows residents in the state of Washington to decide when they can die if they are suffering from a terminal illness.
Arnold's book has so many topics to think about: death, family, risk taking, the feelings that most tween face as they hit puberty. Grandma Sissy is a treasure trove of wisdom and advice that she imparts to Odette, and Arnold does a fantastic job of exploring the topic of death with tween readers.
I loved Arnold's earlier book, The Question of Miracles, and can hardly wait to see more from her.