The most perfect thing in the universe

Tricia Springstubb

Book - 2021

Unlike her adventurous orinthologist mother, shy eleven-year-old Loah prefers a quiet life at home with no surprises until her mother's expedition to the Arctic tundra to study birds turns dangerous and Loah, alone at home, discovers her own courage.

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jFICTION/Springst Tricia
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Children's stories
Action and adventure fiction
New York : Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House [2021]
First edition
Physical Description
183 pages ; 22 cm
Ages 9 to 12.
Grades 4-6.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 181-182).
Main Author
Tricia Springstubb (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Eleven-year-old Loah Londonderry, a rather shy, quiet homebody, looks forward to her adventurous mother's return from the Arctic tundra, but one phone call soon derails that plan. Excited by the reported spotting of a loah bird, which was thought to be extinct, Dr. Londonderry, an ornithologist, has decided to track it down on her own for a few weeks. Meanwhile, Loah remains at home, under the care of elderly Miss Rinker and her brother. When both are hospitalized, she struggles to keep their absence a secret in order to maintain her independence. Another call brings alarming news from the Arctic, and Loah decides to act, though it will take all her wits, determination, and courage to save her mother. From Loah to her caretakers to her only friend, the characters have convincing backstories that shed light on their idiosyncrasies. The well-paced story, enhanced with avian information and enchantment, builds in intensity as Loah becomes more isolated and self-reliant, yet increasingly focused on others. The novel concludes in a heartening, wholly satisfying way, suitably accompanied by birdsong. Grades 4-7. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Eleven-year-old homebody Loah Londonderry, who enjoys knitting and loves the family's rickety old home, is the opposite of her single mother, a dedicated ornithologist who's away in the Arctic longer than planned, risking her life to save her daughter's namesake, the nearly extinct loah bird. Left in the care of elderly siblings, gentle Theo and tough Miss Rinker, Loah is overwhelmed by problems: Theo, falling ill, has to be hospitalized; a city home inspector keeps coming around, demanding repairs be made to Loah's beloved house in the woods; and her new friend Ellis wants to run away. Loah keeps her worries inside until an incident forces her to step outside her comfort zone, seeking aid and protecting what's dear. Through metaphor and imagery, Springstubb's (Every Single Second) tender, sensitively written story captures the essences of places and characters, including frequently dismayed, brave Loah. In addition to offering unique personalities across the cued-white cast and a lesson about global warming, the book provides a host of facts about birds. Ages 9–12. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (June) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Unlike her adventurous orinthologist mother, shy eleven-year-old Loah prefers a quiet life at home with no surprises until her mother's expedition to the Arctic tundra to study birds turns dangerous and Loah, alone at home, discovers her own courage.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When her mother, a noted ornithologist, is lost at the top of the world, unadventurous 11-year-old Loah Londonderry, with the help of a new friend, must step out of her comfort zone to save her lost mother. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

For fans of Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly and The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss, a novel about one unadventurous girl who discovers she is anything but.Eleven-year-old Loah Londonderry is definitely a homebody. While her mother, a noted ornithologist, works to save the endangered birds of the shrinking Arctic tundra, Loah anxiously counts the days till her return home. But then, to Loah's surprise and dismay, Dr. Londonderry decides to set off on a perilous solo quest to find the Loah bird, long believed extinct. Does her mother care more deeply about Loah the bird than Loah her daughter? Things get worse yet when Loah's elderly caretakers fall ill and she finds herself all alone except for her friend Ellis. Ellis has big problems of her own, but she believes in Loah. She's certain Loah has strengths that are hidden yet wonderful, like the golden feather tucked away on her namesake bird's wing. When Dr. Londonderry's expedition goes terribly wrong, Loah needs to discover for herself whether she has the courage and heart to find help for her mother, lost at the top of the world.  Beautifully written, The Most Perfect Thing in the Universe is about expeditions big and small, about creatures who defy gravity and those of us who are bound by it. A Mighty Girl Best Book of the Year A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection