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Sarah loves basketball more than anything. Crushing it on the court makes her feel like she matters. And it's the only thing that helps her ignore how much it hurts when her mom forgets to feed her.
But lately Sarah can't even play basketball right. She's slower now and missing shots she should be able to make. Her body doesn't feel like it's her own anymore. She's worried that changing herself back to how she used to be is the only way she can take control over what's happening.
When Sarah's crush asks her to be partners in a cooking competition, she feels pulled in a million directions. She'll have to dig deep to stand up for what she needs at home, be honest with her best friends, and accept that she doesn't need to change to feel good about herself.
Booklist described Gerber's novels in starred reviews as both "highly empathetic" and "truly inspiring." Taking Up Space promises to be a realistic and compelling story about struggling with body image and learning that true self-esteem comes from within.
Praise for Focused:
* "Clea's likability, persistence, and ability to bounce back from adversity is truly inspiring. Author Gerber, who has ADHD herself, is able to compassionately and realistically convey the experience in this sweetly appealing story." -- Booklist, starred review
* "An accurate and compassionate picture of growing up with ADHD is the icing on the cake of this well-told novel." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred reveiw
Praise for Braced:
* "The author doesn't diminish Rachel's difficulties, but at heart her story is uplifting . . . Comparisons to Judy Blume's Deenie might be inevitable, but Rachel stands admirably on her own." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "A masterfully constructed and highly empathetic debut about a different kind of acceptance." -- Booklist, starred review
"Rachel's story is about more than straightening a spine; it's about expanding the human heart. Braced earns its place on the shelf with other titles promoting empathy and compassion." -- Kirby Larson, Newbery Honor-winning author of Hattie Big Sky and Audacity Jones Steals the Show
"Alyson Gerber's Braced is a rare gem of a novel: intimate and engrossing at once. Rachel is the best kind of character -- vibrant and brave, struggling and strong, and most of all impossible not to root for and relate to. A lovely and deep book that will get readers right in the heart." -- Corey Ann Haydu, author of Rules for Stealing Stars
"Braced is an honest, inspirational story about perseverance in the face of adversity. Readers will come away wishing they could be best friends with Rachel and believing that they, too, are stronger than they ever expected." -- Alison Cherry, author of The Classy Crooks Club
"Rachel gives us an inspiring look into coping with the challenge of bracing that many of us have trouble putting into words. Join Rachel as she discovers her voice in her brace! This book is an important read for all Curvy Girls and anyone who loves and supports one!" -- Leah Stoltz, founder and president, Curvy Girls Foundation