A few days ago, I was talking with a friend about Michael Phelps’ Olympic awesomeness. She started talking about what a great role model he was. He had messed up, owned his problems, accepted the consequences, worked to fix his problems and rebuilt his career. What a fabulous lesson for kids. Few of them will be a Michael Phelps, but even ordinary people need to learn this important lesson.
The characters in Tricia Springstubb’s Every Single Second are very ordinary. Things happen. Decisions are made, or not made, every single second. And some of them have long-lasting consequences. But, at the heart of this story is the lesson that Michael Phelps has demonstrated: you can work hard, accept you faults, accept the consequences and just maybe, you can start rebuilding what you once had. Not every problem in the book is solved. We are, however, left with the knowledge that choosing kindness and forgiveness rather than hate and retaliation, is the better path by far. A thoughtful book for upper elementary & middle school readers.
Goodreads Summary: A single second. That’s all it takes to turn a world upside down.
Twelve-year-old Nella Sabatini’s life is changing too soon, too fast. Her best friend, Clem, doesn’t seem concerned; she’s busy figuring out the best way to spend the “leap second”—an extra second about to be added to the world’s official clock. The only person who might understand how Nella feels is Angela, but the two of them have gone from being “secret sisters” to not talking at all.
Then Angela’s idolized big brother makes a terrible, fatal mistake, one that tears apart their tight-knit community and plunges his family into a whirlwind of harsh publicity and judgment. In the midst of this controversy, Nella is faced with a series of startling revelations about her parents, friends, and neighborhood. As Angela’s situation becomes dangerous, Nella must choose whether to stand by or stand up. Her heart tries to tell her what to do, but can you always trust your heart? The clock ticks down, and in that extra second, past and present merge—the future will be up to her.
Tricia Springstubb’s extraordinary novel is about the shifting bonds of friendship and the unconditional love of family, the impact of class and racial divides on a neighborhood and a city, and a girl awakening to awareness of a world bigger and more complex than she’d ever imagined.