Lotti and the Impossible Dream

Children - Grade 4th-6th
310 Pages
Reviewed on 12/22/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

We often hear the words: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!” Sage advice, but what if the odds were stacked against us and the mountain we wanted to climb was too tall or too steep? What if we’re born with a physical defect, malformed legs that required multiple surgeries, and lots of scarring? Can we face those that cringe at the sight of our wounds? Told we could never walk, can we train for the unthinkable and become a champion rhythm gymnast? In Lotti and the Impossible Dream, Charly Froh tells readers that Lotti believes she can. She’s one determined young middle schooler who firmly believes that she is more than her scars. “My scar is just a history of what I’ve been through, not a guarantee that I can’t do something!” Confronted by the bullies in gym class, she’s determined to prove that she is who and what she wants to be, which is a lot more than the scarred skin on her legs. Heartened by the support of her parents and her older brother, she knows she is a superhero, and she can do anything she sets her mind to. Her mother’s words of wisdom bolster her resolve. When we fall we get up and try again.

Based on a true story, Charly Froh’s middle-grade novel Lotti and the Impossible Dream will have readers of all ages laughing, crying, and cheering all at once. Told in the first person narrative, this almost reads like a memoir or personal essay. The author invites the reader into the depth of feelings and emotions of a young girl with a whole lot of heart and determination. It’s most empowering. There is lots of dialogue and descriptive narrative, and the story moves along at a quick pace. Each chapter begins with an intriguing title and a dragon-inspired drawing, both of which suggest the plot development to follow and the angst young Lotti must face to achieve her goal. Insightful, thought-provoking, compassionate, inspiring, brilliant, funny, and brave, this is a great gift for readers of all ages, but especially the young and the young at heart.