40 pages 1 hour read

Jordan Sonnenblick

Falling Over Sideways

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2016

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Chapters 16-20

Chapter 16 Summary: “Good News, Bad News”

Claire’s mother schedules a doctor’s appointment because she thinks her husband’s memory recall and singing is a very good sign. Meanwhile, to Claire’s horror, Alanna’s mother invites the Goldsmiths to the Halloween party. Sure enough, Claire’s mother mentions her husband’s stroke and learns that Alanna’s mother has no idea about it. Claire’s mother asks Alanna’s mom to look out for any signs of depression in Claire, hangs up the phone, and cries.


Claire dreads Miss Laura’s dance class the next day. Miss Laura is an especially strict teacher, who constantly points out Claire’s mistakes. Moreover, Claire isn’t looking forward to seeing her friends, who now know about her dad. During break, Alanna and Katherine cry and console Claire as the other girls look at them, confused. Though embarrassed, Claire also feels loved by her friends.

Later, Claire, Alanna, and Katherine go trick-or-treating. Claire wears her ballet uniform and dresses as Rosie the Riveter, but it’s so cold that she doesn’t really have a good time. At her friends’ house, they warm her up, but then when they all share candy, Claire realizes that she can’t eat any of it because of her braces. Alanna and Katherine chat about events in their own dance classes that Claire has no idea about.