The Big Shuffle
The Big Shuffle: A Novel (Hallie Palmer)
The Big Shuffle
Laura Pedersen
“We’re approaching Cat in the Hat level chaos and no one’s even had breakfast yet.”When the death of her father leaves her mother bereft and incapacitated, card shark Hallie Palmer returns home from college to raise Hallie’s eight younger siblings. Hallie’s older brother has a scholarship and a sensible major–which translates to free tuition and desperately needed future income for the family. So it’s up to Hallie to deal herself in as head of the chaotic household. But even after the invasion of those well-meaning, casserole-carrying purveyors of comfort the local church ladies, Hallie’s in a downward spiral. Thank goodness for old friends like Bernard and Gil, now proud parents, who keep Hallie afloat with good humor, brilliant organizational skills, and Judy Garland’s most quotable quotes–not that life is entirely peaceful now that Bernard’s wise, willful, and delightfully outrageous mother, Olivia, is back from Europe with a big (and shockingly young) surprise. Through it all, Hallie discovers that life can indeed turn on a dime, and that every coin has two sides plus an edge. Just because beginner’s luck doesn’t always last forever doesn’t mean you’re out of the game.

Book Details


  • Fiction

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
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When her father dies of a heart attack, the task of heading the Palmer household falls to eighteen-year-old Hallie. It doesn't help matters that her father's death has caused her mother to go into shock. In a normal-sized family, this would be bad enough, but Hallie has nine brothers and sisters, seven of whom are still at home! She's not completely alone, though--scary but helpful Uncle Lenny, Pastor Costello, the church ladies, and her old friends Bernard and Gil are all helpful.

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