“Payne has written a perfect story for middle-graders. It hits a lot of things kids worry about most. The voice of Fizzy in this first-person narrative is pitch-perfect. This may capture the experience of children of divorce better than any book out there and deserves readership beyond a middle-grade audience. A winner!”–San Francisco Book Review

“Fizzy’s first-person narration is by turns hilarious and poignant as she struggles to find her voice. . . . The subjects of divorce and middle school drama are well handled. Tween readers will appreciate this gentle read as they empathize with Fizzy’s feelings of inadequacy and root for her success.”—School Library Journal

“Payne provides plenty of realistic detail here about Fizzy’s slowly evolving relationships with her parents, stepparents, and new friends. . . . Her growth feels authentic and her progress well-earned. Readers experiencing family challenges of their own will laugh and cry with Fizzy, rejoicing as she cooks up quite the satisfying new life for herself.”—Kirkus Reviews

This hauntingly accurate portrayal of a young girl’s turmoil after her parents’ divorce introduces Fizzy Russo, an excellent cook who knows all about leftovers. Fizzy, you see, believes she’s the ‘leftovers’ from her parents’ marriage . . . Payne’s characters give such interesting perspectives from “leftover kids” that it may inspire some readers to reinspect their own relationships.”— Booklist


With an authentic voice, the wryly humorous Lula Bell contemplates life and the nature of true friendship with distinctive candor. Payne’s hopeful tale encourages readers to rejoice in what makes them unique.” -Kirkus Reviews

“While trying to fit in, Lula learns how to stand out in this heartwarming tale.” -Booklist

“Lula is an amazingly real character that readers will instantly identify with. Who, after all, hasn’t had a bad hair day, feared performing, or been teased mercilessly by classmates? Readers will laugh, cringe and cry in turns . . . an excellent book with a southern flair.” -Children’s Literature


Something to Sing About was named one of the Top Ten Best by Booklist, was nominated for a 2010-2011 Children’s Crown Award, and a 2011 Kentucky Bluegrass Award!


“A book that, like The Penderwicks (2006), harkens back to such perennial favorites as the Moffats series and the works of Elizabeth Enright. Wholesome…humorous…considerably insightful. ” –Booklist, Starred, Boxed Review

“Jamie Jo’s struggles and questions are met with wisdom, humor, and a positive attitude…this uplifting story contains much to appeal to a broad audience.” –School Library Journal

“This novel is heartwarming and funny, but has a serious side about phobias, love, friendship and family. I found this book to be perfect for any age…I enjoyed C. C. Payne’s first novel and will be glad to put it on our shelves and anxiously await her next book. Something to Sing About is just that, something to sing about.” –Lamplighter

“…makes everyone reexamine the petty differences that keep them apart.” –Children’s Literature