- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
VOYAThree serious and painful issues are deftly woven together in this smartly written, moving, and thought-provoking novel-in-verse. Grover creates an authentic voice in her narrator, fifth grader Estele "Essie" Sherman, who must deal with the recent abandonment by her father and the kidnapping of her classmate, Chris. Meanwhile she must also be strong for her little brother, Dale, and her pregnant mother. As Essie's troubles blend with her distress for Chris and his family, she begins to realize the importance of family and friendship. Just as this understanding begins to dawn, a horrible experience involving a male family friend tempts her to retreat into herself again. With the love of her family, best friend Wally, and a host of church friends and neighbors, however, she realizes that although her father may be gone, she is far from alone. Grover tackles heavy material without being dark or preachy. Her juxtaposing of parental abandonment and kidnapping reflect two very different sides of loss. The author not only delicately handles the topics but also leaves readers knowing that Essie and her family, including new baby, Kevin, are going to be just fine. It is the perfect title to use as bibliotherapy for youth who have dealt with any of the issues covered here and is a recommended purchase for middle school and public libraries alike. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2005, Margaret K. McElderry/S & S, 352p., Ages 11 to 14.