This is a fantastic tween read that will appeal to both boys and girls. Its honest portrayal of divorce, especially one that comes as a surprise, will be very relatable to tweens in similar situations. Nicki's mom seems to be battling depression in the first part of the book. The author does not sugar-coat Nicki's bitterness or his anger at his mother's flaws, including her habit of drinking wine every night. Nor does he sugar-coat what Nicki comes to realize about his dad: while he may seem like a great guy, he's a lousy father. Nicki works towards accepting this fact, and begins to appreciate his mom, who, in turn, quits drinking and snaps out of her depression. The two of them bond through their love for their latest family member, Reggie, and end up as a tightly-knit team. Nicki makes some nice and supportive friends in his new neighborhood, including his former bully. You don't have to be a child of divorce to appreciate this well-written read. There is a little mystery, adventure, and funny moments to entertain all types of readers. Language is mild and infrequent (h-ll, d-mn, a-s are each used once).