Though Franny’s mother suffered from a pain pill addiction, she is now sober and makes do with odd jobs here and there to keep them afloat. But when a car accident leaves her unable to continue cleaning houses and driving for Uber, Franny does the math and realizes they aren’t going to be able to make it. She refuses to let her mother’s addiction take over again and decides to take on her mother’s house cleaning clients without her knowledge. When things start getting too hard for her to handle on her own, she turns to blackmailing her school rival to help her clean the houses. What other choice does she have?
Franny is an overachiever who has been through a lot in her young life and, because of this, she overextends herself in order to avoid asking for help - at all costs. She turns inward to find answers, isolating herself from others, whether that be bullies, crushes, or family. Not only is she a super relatable character, but she’s also a great reminder to readers that it is okay to ask for help, especially from those who care about you.
In addition to Franny and her mother, there is a whole supporting cast of characters who have huge impact on Franny’s life and journey. It’s clear that Sumner created rich backstories for each of them even though we don't get them in their entirety. All of the supporting cast in addition to Franny and her mother all feel like fully fleshed out characters, each with their own journeys to complete.
This is a quick read that tackles a lot of heavy emotions and real life issues. Many young readers will, unfortunately, be able to see bits of their own story in Franny’s, but that’s also why this story is so important. Sumner provides a place for those young readers to escape and see that things can and will get better…and that it’s okay to ask for help sometimes.
MAID FOR IT by Jamie Sumner is available now and you can grab a copy for yourself or the middle grade reader in your life here.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will also be supporting indie bookstores like my local fave Linden Tree Books without whom this review would not be possible! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2023 Book Recommendations."