62 pages 2 hours read

Lisa Graff

Absolutely Almost

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2014

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Chapters 1-25

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary: “rocks.”

Ten-year-old Albie, an only child, lives with his parents in a New York apartment. It’s the summer before his fifth-grade year, where he’ll be starting at a new public school, P.S. 183.

One day, he overhears Grandpa Park, his mother’s father, talk about him to his parents. Grandpa Park says that not everyone can be the rock at the top of the pile—some have to be the ones at the bottom, too. Albie feels uneasy hearing this. Mom quietly responds, “Albie’s not a rock” (2).

Chapter 2 Summary: “being friendly.”

Albie receives a food delivery. Mom asks him to not tip more than $5; Albie tips $8. Mom gets frustrated, but Dad pacifies her by saying that Albie was just “being friendly.” Albie’s mind goes “fuzzy” as he tries to recalculate what he thought was the right tip amount; eventually, he gives up and decides that perhaps he was just “being friendly after all” (5).

Chapter 3 Summary: “letters from school.”

Albie remembers a letter that was sent home from his old school. Upon reading it, Dad scrunched up the letter, and Mom told Albie that it might be better to switch schools. Albie rescued the letter from the trash and hid it at the back of his dresser without reading it.