Monday, July 14, 2014

MMGM: Violet Raines Almost Got Struck By Lightning

This is another one of those books that’s not super-new (2010), but I’ve been meaning to read it for a long time, ever since I’d heard about the deal on Blueboards. More recently, Mary Kole recommended it as a MG for authors to read and study. So when I saw it recently at my library, I had to pick it up.



I'm so glad I did. There is much for authors to learn from this lovely book.


Synopsis:


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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Symbolism: I loved the way Haworth used a bridge (complete with alligators underneath) as a symbolic device, which made for a very powerful ending.
Violet Raines is a book that would appeal to fans of BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE and GLORY BE and readers who like quiet, character-driven stories set in the South (like me!).


Have you read any inspiring middle grades lately?





If you're looking for Marvelous Middle Grade suggestions, check out Shannon Messenger's blog.
P.S. I don't normally post on Thursday, but please come back this week for a very special interview with Anna Staniszewski, author of My Fairy Unfairy Tale Life and the Dirt Diary series. We'll be talking about writing and her latest book, THE PRANK LIST.


14 comments:

  1. I've heard of this book but don't think I've read it. Definitely am going to check it out! Thanks for the review.

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    1. You're welcome, Andrea! I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.

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  2. This was one of those books that I wanted to read a few years ago but it got buried on my list. Your review helped remind me to make a commitment to check it out this summer. I'll stop by again on Thursday. Looking forward to your author interview.

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    1. It's a great summertime read, since it takes place in the summer too. Glad you stopped by, Greg!

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  3. I've never heard of this book before, but it sounds really interesting. Thanks for spotlighting it and the thoughtful review!

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    1. You're welcome--I hope you enjoy it!

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  4. This sounds delightful, and is one I hadn't come across or heard of in any way at all! Thanks for the heads up, I'm putting it on my list! Yay! lol

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    1. Glad you found something you might like. It's quiet book with a lot of heart, which is what I loved.

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  5. I hadn't heard of this, but will check it out. Thanks for the review.

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    1. Glad you found something you hadn't heard of. It's a gem! Thanks for stopping by, Rosi!

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  6. I love getting introduced to all of these MG books. Thank you!!

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    1. Thanks, Liz, I'm glad you stopped by. They're a lot of fun to read (and quick too).

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  7. Awesome. I love books that don't cut out religion too. It seems a number of people have decided religion in entertainment is taboo, and that just makes me sad.

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    1. I agree. It's always refreshing to see authors not being afraid to tackle all of a characters life.

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