Title: Absolutely Almost
Author: Lisa Graff
Recommended for: Grades 4-6
Call Number/Link: J Graff, L.
Synopsis: Ten-year-old Albie has never been the smartest, tallest, best at gym, greatest artist, or most musical in his class, as his parents keep reminding him, but new nanny Calista helps him uncover his strengths and take pride in himself.
As Absolutely Almost begins, Albie’s parents have received a letter stating that he can no longer attend his exclusive private school because his grades aren’t good enough. The problem isn’t a lack of trying – Albie is not capable of the schoolwork. The next year, Albie will (gasp) attend public school, where he finally receives help for his learning challenges. And, after a lifetime of his parents and teachers telling him he’s not good enough, he begins the summer with a nanny named Calista who thinks he’s a great kid and tells him so. Not everything goes well – Albie struggles with bullies, making friends, and Calista is ultimately fired for lying to his mother. But by the end of the book, Alfie’s parents occasionally have reasonable expectations of him and can even see the good in him. More importantly, Alfie learns to recognize his own strengths (or superpowers) and take pride in himself.