And Then, Boom!

Written by Lisa Fipps

Lisa Fipps follows up her debut novel Starfish with another equally compelling novel-in-verse. Joe Oak lives with his grandma, since his mother isn’t a dependable caregiver. References to her specific challenges are vague. This book covers heavy topics: abandonment, poverty, food insecurity, abuse, depression, and homelessness, so it is better suited for a slightly older audience. Like Starfish, this book succeeds in helping the reader gain insight to the real opposition so many children face. Small gestures of kindness from friends, a neighbor, and a teacher keep the book from feeling overly dismal, even after Joe’s beloved grandma dies and he has to dumpster dive for his food. One scene at the end felt a little unlikely and far-fetched, but it wasn’t enough to ruin the book. This is an excellent addition to the library for older elementary students.

Reviewed by Kim Winterton, Librarian, Granger Elementary
Review shared in April 2024
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 5-8

And Then, Boom!
Written by Lisa Fipps
Nancy Paulsen Books
256 pages
Release Date: May 7, 2024
ISBN: 9780593406328
An advance reader’s copy was provided by the publisher.

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