Saturdays with Hitchcock
by Ellen Wittlinger (Author)

Booktalk: Twelve-year-old movie-loving Maisie is dealing with the realities of a grandparent with dementia, a mom who’s been laid off from her job, finding out that Gary Hackett like likes her, and a best friend who just confessed that, actually, he like likes Gary.

Maisie’s Uncle Walt, a Hollywood actor, provides a welcome diversion from Maisie’s problems when he comes to stay with her family. Uncle Walt has a way of pointing Maisie in the right direction. And heading to the local independent theater on Saturdays with her best friend, Cyrus, to see old films keeps Maisie grounded as she struggles with growing up, family tensions, and a love triangle she never expected.

Snippet: We let our bikes fall on the backyard lawn, which I’ll get yelled at for later, but it’s so hot and we’re so thirsty. The minute I open the door, though, I can hear my parents arguing in the living room and I shush Cyrus. The only way a person gets any information about what’s going on around here is by eavesdropping.

Dad sounds aggravated. “I thought he had a girlfriend out there in Hollywood. Can’t she take care of him?”

“They broke up months ago,” Mom says.

“Can’t he stay with your mother?”

“On that old foldout couch in her back room? That would be torture,” Mom says. I’m daring to hope I know who they are talking about.

“Well, he can’t expect you to be his nursemaid! You’ve got a job!

“I know that, Dennis. Don’t get mad at me. I didn’t invite him!”

I hear the springs squeak as Mom flops into a chair. “Don’t you have somewhere to be? Isn’t your bowling team practicing today?”

“We’ve got a game tonight,” Dad says. I can hear him pacing. “Look, it’s not that I don’t like the guy,” Dad says, “It’s just that every time he comes, you get all upset, and you end up taking it out on the rest of us.”

“I do not. I get upset with my mother is all. The way she flutters around him like he’s the famous movie star he thinks he is–‘Wade Wolf’–and not just her useless son, Walter Hoffmeister.”

I turn to Cyrus and clap my hands silently. “My uncle Walt’s coming!” I whisper.

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.