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The Care and Keeping of Freddy

For fans of Kate DiCamillo and Sharon Creech comes this sweet and funny middle grade novel about a young girl, her pet bearded dragon, and the friends who make her summer one to remember.

Georgia Weathers’s worry machine has been on full blast since her mom, Blythe, took off in Lyle Lenczycki’s blue sedan. Earlier that same day, Blythe gave Georgia a bearded dragon named Freddy. Georgia is convinced that if she loves Freddy enough, Blythe will come home.

Georgia isn’t the only one with family predicaments. Her friend Maria Garcia’s parents have merrily moved out of the house and into a camper in the yard. Roland Park is the new boy in town. As a kid in the foster care system staying with the Farley family, he’s sure his stay is temporary. When the three friends discover an abandoned glass house in the forest, it becomes their secret hideout: a place all their own, free of parents and problems. But glass can be broken.

When everything around them feels out of their control, the question becomes what can they hold on to? And what do they have to let go? It turns out, there are some things—and lizards—they can count on.

Photo by Jeanne Birdsall

Susan Hill Long is the author of Josie Bloom and the Emergency of LifeThe Magic Mirror: Concerning a Lonely Princess, a Foundling Girl, a Scheming King, and a Pickpocket SquirrelThe Care and Keeping of Freddy; and Whistle in the Dark, which Publishers Weekly said “sings with graceful recurring motifs, true emotions, and devastating observations about the beauty that can be found in the darkest hours” in a starred review. It was named a best book of the year by Bank Street and Publishers Weekly. Susan lives in Portland, Oregon, with her family. Learn more at SusanHillLong.com.

More books from this author: Susan Hill Long