THIS IS ME FROM NOW ON, by Barbara Dee, pairs an unlikely duo of about-to-be seventh graders. Safe, level-headed Evie is introduced to fancy-free Francesca by her ultra modern, next-door neighbor Samantha Pattison, who is also Francesca's aunt. Samantha has taken her niece in because, in Francesca's liberated words, her old school "tried to suppress my spirit, but of course they failed miserably."
Someone who does not try to suppress Francesca is Evie. Evie is the narrator of this coming-of-age, identity-search plot. The story is delightfully realistic -- and hilarious -- for tweens in need of open-minded thinking toward the profound goal of living every moment to its fullest potential. However, like real tweens, Evie must face new feelings about old friends, among other issues (Are they too rigid? Am I?). She must also face her new ability to welcome in a new and wild friend and be open to freer, more interesting possibilities.
While Evie still loves her old friends, she discovers Francesca has a talent for making life adventurous and exciting -- as adventurous and exciting as this book. Barbara Dee, I welcome you to send more of your books for review, because if they're as delightful as this story, I'll review them!