Episode # 29

The Thing About Leftovers

C.C. Payne

A poignantly funny middle grade novel about navigating divorce and blended families, following your passion, and making your place in a shifting world.
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On Sale Date:


10 + / 5 +
Nancy Paulsen Books




The Thing About Leftovers

Twelve-year-old Fizzy can’t seem to find her place in her newly changed family. She’s an only child, and since both her parents have embarked on new relationships, she’s a bit of a third wheel. And now her dad and stepmom are having a baby, and her mom’s about to marry her neat-freak, dismissive boyfriend, leaving Fizzy feeling like a “leftover” kid that no one really wants—complete with a past that the new family units would rather forget. Things start looking up when she makes two friends in her new school: Miyoko and Zach, who have parent issues of their own that they can laugh and cry over, and a guidance counselor who finally convinces Fizzy that it is not impolite to talk about your family for the right reasons.

Also, Fizzy’s passion is cooking, so she eagerly enters the Southern Living cook-off, giving her a welcome distraction from family drama. As Fizzy perfects her recipe for the Russo family lasagna—which tastes even better the next day—she’s surprised and heartened to find that some leftovers aren’t so bad, after all.

Praise for Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom, & the Challenges of Bad Hair

“Lula is an amazingly real character that readers will instantly identify with…. Readers will laugh, cringe and cry in turns…an excellent book with a southern flair.”
Children’s Literature

“While trying to fit in, Lula learns how to stand out in this heartwarming tale.”

“With an authentic voice, the wryly humorous Lula Bell contemplates life and the nature of true friendship with distinctive candor. Payne’s hopeful tale encourages readers to rejoice in what makes them unique.”

C. C. Payne was born and raised in Kentucky by a family chock-full of superb storytellers. At the age of seven, she became a voracious reader. She says, “The house could’ve fallen down around my ears, and I would’ve just thought, does this mean I have to put my book down?” She also wrote Something to Sing About, which was nominated for a Children’s Crown Award and a Kentucky Bluegrass Award, and Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom & the Challenges of Bad Hair.