Grade 5–7—Tess Dobson's life is complicated. Her younger brother, Jordan, is deaf and prone to bouts of behavior as "FrankenJordan." Her mother walks the narrow ledge of bipolar disorder, a walk that always seems to end in "shooting stars" or a crash. To make things even more complicated, Ma has decided to move the family from Texas to Schenectady, NY, where she uses all of their savings to open an ice-cream shop. Despite the promises that Schenectady will hold all the answers to their problems, this new town brings its own set of complications, which include living at a senior citizens' complex. Tess struggles with these difficulties but unexpectedly finds the support she never knew she needed. Through it all, there is ice cream. This book is sweet and leaves a relatively pleasant taste much like the rocky-road ice cream that serves as a metaphor for Tess's life. Due respect is paid to the challenges of having a parent who suffers from bipolar disorder, as well as the disorder itself. Tess seems much older than her 12 years but this is in keeping with her family situation. Her involvement with peer mediation is slightly contrived but it is necessary to her growth. As the Dobsons say, "Ice cream warms the heart…," and so will this book.—Naphtali L. Faris, Saint Louis Public Library, MO
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