When Alice's dad moves out, leaving her with her troubled mother, she does the only thing that feels right: she retreats to her family's old Renaissance tent in the backyard, determined to live there until her dad comes home. In an attempt to keep at least one part of her summer from changing, Alice focuses on her quest to swim freestyle fast enough to get on her swim team's record board. But summers contain multitudes, and soon Alice meets an odd new friend, Harriet, whose obsession with the school's science fair is equal only to her conviction that Alice's best stroke is backstroke, not freestyle. Most unexpected of all is an unusual babysitting charge, Piper, who is mute—until Alice hears her speak. A funny and honest middle-grade novel, this sharply observed depiction of family, friendship, and Alice's determination to prove herself—as a babysitter, as a friend, as a daughter, as a person—rings loud and true.
|Publisher:||Chronicle Books LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||10 - 14 Years|
About the Author
J. H. Diehl has an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop; this is her first novel. She lives in Maryland.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tiny Infinities by J.H. Diehl is a promising book about Alice, her troubled mother and her meeting an unusual new friend, Harriet. It's a middle-grade novel with unique observations about family relationships, friendship and Alice's determination to prove herself in all ways. It's written for ages eight to twelve. I gave it five stars because it kept my full attention, start to finish. "What I love most about backstroke is, it proves a person doesn't need to be looking straight ahead to know exactly where she's going." The police left after Piper's parents claimed her from Alice's house. Her father was disgruntled. "He shut our front door, looking irritated and tired, as if he'd just put up with watching ten awful TV ads in a row, and now we were back to a show he didn't like anyway." Alice met Harriet and was discussing how her parents met and she got her name from the dog. "But talking about Alice was like walking back over to that corner in my head and finding the box jammed full of mad, sad, and panic." Alice's father is leaving. She is frustrated and upset. "Again the words came out madder than I expected, as if my voice had picked a mood without consulting me." I received a complimentary Advanced Reader's Copy from Chronicle Books and NetGally. That did not change my opinion for this review.
TINY INFINITIES was the incredible coming of age story of Alice, a girl stuck in all the spaces in between...trying to learn how to define her lines through the grey areas of life, in the spaces between warm and hot...in the tiny infinities of life. The story is well written. While some of Alice's story is typical of a 13 year old, other topics addressed in the book are not as common, and give the book a very nice change of pace.
I received this book from #netgalley and the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. Wow... This book a home run. I loved this story. It was a very gripping story about a young 13 year just trying to find her place in this world. I think this is great for young teens. I commend the author on the release of this book and the publishing company that grab this book up for publish.
Everything is changing for Alice as summer approaches. Her family is crumbling around her as her father moves out, her younger brothers go to live with an aunt and she is left to help her mother who is struggling with physical and mental issues. Alice has to deal with some hard financial realities because now her father has to support two households. New neighbors move in next door and there is tension from the beginning when Alice has a late-night encounter with their daughter, Piper, who has some developmental delays. Alice has been a competitive swimmer for years and now she is moving to a new age bracket and is at a disadvantage because she will be racing against older, more experienced swimmers. Alice has also isolated herself from her friends because of all the challenges she faces at home. At swimming practice Alice meets Harriet who is “exceedingly” intelligent and excels in many areas including academics, music and swimming but is socially awkward. The two girls share many experiences throughout the summer and learn some valuable lessons. When I started this book I was skeptical that the author would be able to successfully address all the themes she introduced. This book explores many different family dynamics, friendships, and mental health challenges. It also promotes math, science and participation in sports. I especially enjoyed the investigation of the idea that the difference between things that are often considered total opposites can be very small. I was satisfied that the author had sufficiently dealt with all these topics by the end of the story. The writing in this novel is beautiful and the characters are convincing. I really liked this book and I highly recommend it to anyone. However, my personal experience tells me it will be difficult to get boys to read it because the main character is female, thus making it a "girl" book. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of this book!