I found this to be a very sweet and often humorous look at growing up in the face of bullying and trying to figure out what constitutes a good and valid friendship. Wendy struggles with issues lots of middle school students do, and Ms. Toney tackles these issues in a realistic yet funny way (Seriously, I think Tookie and the Sticks needs to be the name of a band!).
Throughout the story, we get a few glimpses into how Wendy's Catholic faith is helping to guide her through the murky waters of early adolescence. One moment I found particularly humorous was when Wendy is helping her mom with some laundry, and she accidentally gets a towel snagged on a glass parrot her mom had "rescued" during a roadside scavenger hunt. Wendy's reaction made me laugh:
"Oh. . . .!" I clamped my lips together, having made a promise to Father Gerard at my last confession not to cuss.
Lots of Christian authors find various ways to get around the swearing, but I liked how Ms. Toney handled it by acknowledging that a lot of young teens would be tempted to let a little swear slip, but still have her character be a girl trying to doing the right thing