Eighth-grader Natalie Stevens has never had a friend who lived next-door. So, when the Bellavia
family moves there, Natalie can hardly contain her excitement, especially since Patrizia, the
oldest of the Bellavia kids, is also in eighth grade.
Charged with helping Patrizia become familiar with her new school, Natalie gladly takes on the
assignment, sure that the two will become immediate friends. She does not even consider they
might be very different from one another, or that Patrizia's weight, Italian name, and traditions
might make her the target of the school bully.
From the moment the girls meet, Natalie finds herself on an emotional journey. Family life at the
Bellavia household is steeped in tradition. From their food to a Friday night family custom, to
even praying the rosary and other components of Patrizia's Catholic faith, Natalie finds she is
constantly questioning and learning. This experience serves as a catalyst to Natalie developing an
interest in art, where she must decide if others' opinions matter enough to stifle her new passion.
Together the girls help each other face down their individual obstacles, lift each other up, learn
compassion for Patrizia's bully, and bring together a community.
Author: Mary F. Van Der Linden
Publisher: Marvelous Books
Binding Type: Paperback
Size: 9.00h x 6.00w x 0.52d