Katie Sutton (parent trainer extraordinaire) offers up a comprehensive manual for effective handling of grown-ups in this delightful novel. Thirteen-year-old Katie knows quite a lot about Grown-Up Studies, since she’s had to pay particular attention to the effective control of her mom, a widow who has just begun dating.

Katie and her two siblings live with their mom in Brindleton, a sprawling English town with posh houses—and public housing units like the one where the Suttons live. Katie’s manual takes the form of a summer journal, and the impetus for completing her Users’ Guide to Grown-ups is Stuart, her mum’s first boyfriend since her husband died.

“I suppose my main problem with Stuart is that he’s turned up in our lives at all,” admits Katie. And with Stuart’s strong environmental values (including no logos on T-shirts), Mum has every intention of keeping him around. The situation calls for drastic action from Katie and her sister Mandy. Added to this decidedly unwelcome summer romance are Katie’s own tribulations in matters of the heart.

First published in the U.K., Diary of a Parent Trainer is a story of love, friendship and family that arrives in the U.S. just in time for summer reading. But a word to the wise: Parents, watch out! Your young reader may apply some of the information in this manual to ensure your optimum performance as a Grown-Up.

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