I'm so glad I did. There is much for authors to learn from this lovely book.
Violet Raines is happy with things just the way they are in her sleepy Florida town, but when Melissa moves to town from big-city Detroit, all of a sudden things seem like they're changing whether Violet likes it or not. It'll take a few run-ins with lightning and a whole lot of courage for her to realize that growing up doesn't have to mean changing who you are.
What I loved:
- Character (this seems to be a reoccurring theme, I fall in love with books based on their characters): Violet Raines is a great combination of spunkiness and vulnerability. I loved how she didn’t want to wear make-up and wasn’t boy-crazy, but was struggling to fit in with girls who were. This was very believable, and I think a lot of tweens will relate to it.
- Voice: Haworth captures the voice of the South and of Florida very well. As a Northerner, it took me a bit to get used to all the so’s, but it really worked in this book. I will stay with a book for a long time if it has a good voice—and this one won me over.
- Faith: I loved how Violet’s going to church and praying was part of the story—not forced, but very authentic and keeping with the characters and setting.
- Beautiful ending and one of the best last lines I’ve read in awhile. A great reminder that although we tend to spend a lot of time honing that first line, a last line that resonates is just as important, if not more so.
- Symbolism: I loved the way Haworth used a bridge (complete with alligators underneath) as a symbolic device, which made for a very powerful ending.
Have you read any inspiring middle grades lately?
If you're looking for Marvelous Middle Grade suggestions, check out Shannon Messenger's blog.