Ain’t It Funny

By: Margaret Gurevich | Penguin Workshop

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For fans of Stand Up, Yumi Chung! and The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl comes an honest and heartfelt novel about a girl who’s determined not to let her growing anxiety and OCD hold her back from using stand-up comedy to bring her parents back together.

Eleven-year-old Maya’s life is bit of a mess. Her dad just moved out to pursue his stand-up comedy dreams, her mom seems more preoccupied with running the family’s Russian deli than getting Dad back, and Maya’s anxiety and germ worries have only been heightening. Her grandma always tells her “sloze gorya ne pamozhet”—tears won’t help sorrow—but right now it’s hard to be strong.

So when her teacher Ms. Banta announces the sixth-grade talent show, Maya sees an opportunity. If she can perform stand-up comedy in the show, she can prove to her mom and dad that comedy has a place in all their lives and try to bring them together again. But conquering her fears amidst her family falling apart and a growing hot-hot-hot feeling inside is easier said than done . . .

In this authentic novel full of both humor and heartbreak, Margaret Gurevich crafts a story about comedy, fractured family, and learning how strength comes in many forms.

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