Nicole C. Kear
Published April 21, 2020
Margaret is tired of everything always changing. Middle school has gone from bad to worse. Her best friend is becoming a stranger. And her family—well, it’s not even a family anymore.
So Margaret is running away to Foreverland, her favorite amusement park. Hiding out there is trickier than she expects–until she meets Jaime, a thrill-seeking, fast-thinking runaway who teaches Margaret how to stay one step ahead of the captain of security.
At first, this after-hours, all-access pass to the park is a dream come true: sleepovers in the Haunted House, nonstop junk food, and an unlimited ticket to ride. But as the runaways learn each other’s secrets, they must face the reasons they left their normal lives behind. With the Captain closing in and Jaime’s future on the line, can Margaret finally take control?
I can’t help being fascinated by books that take place in a theme park, whether they’re dark, like TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET or VANISHING GIRLS or sweeter, like THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER (okay, so that one is set in a museum, but I’m still counting it.).
FOREVERLAND is on the sweeter/lighter side of the spectrum. Margaret wrestles with fears and feelings of rejection and loneliness, but her friendship with Jaime helps give her a new perspective on not just her life, but herself. He sees her as this bold, courageous girl, which gives her an opportunity to reevaluate herself and see if she can find that courage and strength that he sees in her.
I’m pretty sure I saw the book on a list on Twitter and decided to order it to help support authors whose books have come out during the pandemic. We don’t always realize how much authors depend on school visits, book cons, and other big spring and summer events to get the word out about their work. With so many events canceled and so many students distance learning, it has not been easy for authors to reach new readers.
If you’re looking for a really sweet, uplifting book about friendship and courage, I absolutely recommend this one! You can find it on Indiebound and support not only the author but an independent bookstore near you, too!
You can also find other books for readers ages 8 to 12 that came out this year on this Goodreads list.
Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.
Margaret has panic attacks and anxiety. Jaime’s grandparents are Puerto Rican.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Margaret feels left behind and forgotten now that her older sister has a boyfriend.
Margaret chokes on a bite of food and someone helps her by knocking it loose.
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