When I read the synopsis for this book, I knew I had to read it.
From the book jacket of MY LOUISIANA SKY (Kimberly Holt):
Tiger Ann Parker is bright in school and good at baseball, but she’s forever being teased about her family by the girls in her class. Tiger knows her folks are different from others in their small town, Saitter, Louisiana. They are mentally slow, and Tiger keeps her pain and embarrassment hidden as long as her strong, smart grandmother runs the household. Then Granny dies suddenly and Aunt Dorie Kay arrives, offering Tiger Ann a way out. Now Tiger Ann must make the most important decision of her life.
What I loved about Louisiana Sky:
Tiger Ann is a believable, sympathetic protagonist. She’s torn between her love for her parents and her desire to “fit in” with the other girls at school, be like Audrey Hepburn, and have fun. I loved that she was navigating all the ups and downs of early adolescence, while trying to also deal with outpacing her parents.
I loved how Holt used this phrase: Your momma’s love is simple. It flows from her like a quick, easy river as a motif throughout the book. Tiger Ann’s parents are portrayed with compassion, but are not put on a pedestal as perfect (as sometimes happens in books about people with disabilities). Yet, their great gift—love—is shown for what it is.
As a former special education teacher, I loved that this book portrayed a disability not as a handicap, but as a different way of seeing the world.There is also a film of this book, if you want to extend your reading experience: My Louisiana Sky.
Kimberly Holt is the author of many other middle grade books, including the National Book Award winning, WHEN ZACHARY BEAVER CAME TO TOWN.
For more Marvelous Middle Grade titles, please see Shannon Messenger's blog. She is the author of KEEPER OF LOST CITIES (MG) series and SKY FALL (YA).
What marvelous middle grades have you read lately?