Calli Be Gold

Observant but quiet Calli Gold doesn’t fit in with her loud, intense family. Calli’s dad thinks his kids have to be the best at their activities. His motto is that everyone in the Gold family needs to be “golden” and that means winning medals and placing first.

Calli’s older brother Alex is a basketball star and her older sister Becca is on a synchronized skating team, but 11-year old Calli thinks she’s a failure because she’s flopped at everything she’s tried. Calli’s not so sure she wants to be a star. She feels content with who she is—an average fifth grade kid who likes to watch the world around her and think about things.

Calli’s dad signs her up for an acting class, hoping she’ll find her talent at last. But when Calli starts working with second grader Noah Zullo through a peer helper program at school, she begins to discover what her true passion might be, and it has nothing to do with acting, or for that matter, kicking a soccer ball or doing pliés or flipping on a balance beam.

In her own quiet way, Calli prompts her endearing but misguided family to reconsider what achievement really means. A heartwarming story about standing up for who you are and finding your own rightful place within a family, this novel applauds the joy in small moments and makes us think about what’s most important.


Nominated for Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award, Minnesota Youth Reading Awards 2016
Nominated for Illinois Bluestem Award 2014
Bank Street College of Education Best Books of the Year listing 2012, starred for outstanding merit


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