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One sentence into the plot description of Counting Thyme, and my sixth graders were pushing and shoving to get in line for this novel. Thyme loves her home in San Diego – the sunshine, her school, and living next door to her best friend, Shani. But when Thyme’s little brother Val’s cancer returns, his family moves temporarily from California to New York to participate in the study for a groundbreaking new treatment. Thyme desperately wants to go home, but even more desperately wants her brother to recover – and the conflict is making everything harder. The story follows Thyme as she begins to make friends and find her place in the city, and as their temporary move becomes seemingly more and more permanent. Fans of dramatic realistic fiction (AKA the “give me something sad!” group) will love reading about how Thyme’s family bands together to support her little brother, and how she deals with her complicated feelings. It wasn’t my favorite, but I know that it will be a hit.