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Eleven-year-old Aurora Petrequin’s best friend has never spoken a word to her. In fact, Frenchie Livernois doesn’t talk.
Aurora is bouncy, loud and impulsive—“a big old blurter.” Making friends has never come easily. When Frenchie, who is autistic, silently chose Aurora as his person back in third grade, she chose him back. They make a good team, sharing their love of the natural world in coastal Maine.
In the woods, Aurora and Frenchie encounter a piebald deer, a rare creature with a coat like a patchwork quilt. Whenever it appears, Aurora feels compelled to follow.
At school, Aurora looks out for Frenchie, who has been her classmate until this year. One morning, Frenchie doesn’t make it to his classroom. Aurora feels she’s to blame. The entire town begins to search, and everyone wonders: how is it possible that nobody has seen Frenchie?
At the heart of this story is the friendship between hyper-talkative Aurora and nonvocal Frenchie. Conflict arises when Aurora is better able to expand her social abilities and finds new friends. When Frenchie goes missing, Aurora must figure out how to use her voice to help find him, and lift him up when he is found.
Featuring a compelling mystery and a memorable voice, this is a natural next-read after Leslie Connor’s The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle.
“Leslie Connor brilliantly depicts a genuine and meaningful friendship between a dynamic girl and her nonvocal friend. By showing the ways Aurora and Frenchie communicate, Connor gives us a blueprint for seeing autistic children in a new light. I loved, loved, loved this book!” —Cammie McGovern, author of Frankie and Amelia and Chester and Gus
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