After meeting her long-absent father, thirteen-year-old Pia finds the courage to love her family and herself.
Pia lives in New York City with her mother; she has never known her father. She and her mother are worried about Mario, Pia's older brother, who stopped going to Harvard. He has now been diagnosed with schizophrenia and is living on the edge. Pia isn't a very conscientious student, but she isn't even 13 years old yet, and she has a lot on her mind, with worry about Mario always haunting her. For one thing, she is drifting away from her best friend Anita. For another thing, she has written to her father in Italy and now has received a letter from himhe wants her and her mother to come to Florence during her spring break so they can be together. In this brief book, Pia creates a fine work of art (a self-portrait), she meets a new friend, she accepts her mother's nice boyfriend, and she does meet her father and discovers secrets about her family she never knew. It's a quiet story filled with believable characters and we have a lot of faith in Pia as she enters adolescence with her 13th birthday. A fine book for younger YAs, especially thoughtful, creative ones.