Candy Floss by Jacqueline Wilson
Floss’s got things sorted out. Most of the week, she spends with her mom, boyfriend, and baby brother. Weekends, she spends with her dad helping out in his hole-in-the-wall cafe. And her best friend at school is the most popular girl in the class. But when her mom’s boyfriend gets a job in Australia for six months, Floss decides to stay behind with her dad. Though she and her dad love each other dearly, she now has a whole new set of worries. She’s never had to worry about having clean, ironed clothes before. Or about smelling of chips from her dad’s cafe. Her so-called best friend is losing interest in her, and her dad’s about to lose the cafe and their apartment above it.
Satisfying and homey. Also, a girl book. If the title didn’t give it away, the bubblegum pink cover will. The kids in Jacqueline Wilson books have very real problems and concerns, and emotional reactions. That’s what lifts her stuff out of problem-novel “Very Special Episode” territory. And though bad things might happen, and there isn’t often a nice, pat fairy-tale ending, things get better in her books. Even though divorced parents aren’t going to fall in love again, things work out for the poor kid stuck in the middle. And there’s something to be said for being reassuring, while still telling a good story. Because ultimately, that’s what she does.