The essence of summer, adolescence, and change are captured in Tara Altebrando's first middle-grade novel.
It is summertime, and twelve-year-old Julia Richards cannot stand the anticipation. Everyone on Darcy Lane seems to be holding their breath waiting for the cicadas to emerge, but what Julia and her best friend, Taylor, want is some real excitement. Which arrives in the form of a new neighbour named Alyssa, who introduces a ball game called Russia . . . and an unwelcome level of BFF rivalry. Suddenly nothing stands unchallenged- not Julia's friendships, her crush, or her independence. But while Julia realizes that she cannot control all the changes in her life, she hangs onto the hope that everything will go in her favour if she can just win one magnificent showdown. Acclaimed author Tara Altebrando's middle-grade debut features a voice that is true to the adolescent experience, where everything is felt acutely in a whirlwind of all-or-nothing emotion.