Come Fall blends fantasy and middle school reality–and both worlds operate by their own baffling rules! Salman, 13, is starting seventh grade in his eleventh school. He has no idea who or where his birth parents are. Salman’s newest foster family is anything but warm, but Salman knows how to blend into the background at home and at school.
Lu is a quiet girl who’s been assigned to be Salman’s “designated buddy” at school. Blos is a social outcast who takes everything very literally. The unlikely trio come together at the “loners” school cafeteria table, and find some genuine acceptance from each other. Each student deals with personal issues like school bullies, the foster care system, and changing families.
Meanwhile, the trio is being observed by the Fairy King Oberon and his Queen Titiana. It seems that Salman is actually a foundling child. He’s a source of contention between Oberon and Titiana. Their poor servant Puck has the thankless task of reporting back on Salman through his messenger Crow.
Confused yet? I picked this book up initially for the cover art. I couldn’t imagine how this tricky plot could work, but it does! Bauer successfully weaves the subplots together with sympathetic characters. Pick Come Fall up for a story that’s engaging and touching. (Bauer spun the plotline off of a foundling child mentioned briefly in Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream.)
Recommended for ages 9-12, reviewed by Victoria.
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