When Junior Thibodeau is still in utero, he receives an ominous message from a mysterious source: "Although to you we may seem quite knowledgeable, even omniscient, we in fact know only one thing for certain, which is this: thirty-six years, one hundred sixty-eight days, fourteen hours, and twenty-three seconds from now, on June 15, 2010, at 3:44 p.m. EST, a comet that has broken away from the Kuiper Belt near Neptune will impact the Earth with the explosive energy of 283,824,000 Hiroshima bombs." Junior thus lives his whole life with the knowledge of humankind's certain demise, and the big question is, especially as the only person on the planet armed with this information, does anything he does, that anyone does, really matter?
Author Ron Currie, Jr. answers that question in the book's title, yet Junior's rocky journey to understanding the big question is what makes Everything Matters! so funny, odd and heartbreaking. He, his troubled parents, his baseball prodigy older brother Rodney, and Amy, the girl he has loved since they watched the space shuttle explode together, take turns telling the story; each has a unique voice and a very different take on what is going to happen. And what is going to happen isn't necessarily what you think it might be: Currie takes a foregone conclusion and spins it into something gratifyingly unexpected.
As Mary Richards's lovable and self-deprecating best friend Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Valerie Harper, too, turned the world on with her smile. Viewers could relate to Rhoda, native New Yorker and struggling working girl, who was unlucky in love and insecure about her weight but who always kept her sense of humor. Valerie was an unknown actress when she won the part that made her famous, and by the time Rhoda, her popular spin-off show, ended, she had won four Emmys and a Golden Globe. The role was groundbreaking. On-screen, she represented a self-reliant new identity for women of the 1970s while off-screen she fought alongside feminists Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug for equal rights, among other issues that were important to her.