Two kids from two different worlds form an unexpected friendship in this lens into the interworking of empathy. Told in alternating narratives, The Other Side of Perfect is infused with themes of identity, belonging, and compassion, reminding us that we are all more than our circumstances, and we are all more connected than we think.Cody’s home life is a messy, too-often terrifying story of neglect and abuse. Cody himself is a smart kid, a survivor with a great sense of humor that helps him see past his circumstances and begin to try to get himself out. Autumn is a wealthy girl from an indigenous family, who has found herself in with the popular crowd even though it’s hard for her to want to keep up.
But one night, while returning home from a movie, Autumn comes across Cody, face down in the laneway behind her house. All Cody knows is that he can’t take another encounter with his father like the one he just narrowly escaped. He can’t go home. But he doesn’t have anywhere else to go. When Autumn agrees to let him hide out in her dad’s art studio, Cody’s story begins to come out, and so does hers.
256 Pages • Scholastic Press (2024)