Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mock Newbery: Reaching for the Sun

Starred Review: Kirkus 01/15/07
Author: Zimmer, Tracie Vaughn
Title: Reaching for sun
ISBN: 1599900378

The annotation in the catalogue reads simply: "Josie, who lives with her mother and grandmother and has cerebral palsy, befriends a boy who moves into one of the rich houses behind her old farmhouse."

This one simple sentence just doesn't do it justice. Reaching for the Sun is a short, but elegant, novel in verse about a year in the life of young girl with CP who lives with her single working mom and her grandmother. The short verses communicate clearly the voice of Josie as she befriends a new boy, learns to stand up for what SHE wants, deals with her Grandmother being sick, and reconnects with her mother. So much happens in the few words that the author writes and yet nothing feels glossed over or neglected.

With quotes like: "like a blip on the radar of my life" refering to how little Josie sees of her mother between her job and her classes in the evening, this story of a young girl turning into a woman and learning about ethics, friendship, and herself will stay with you long after you close the book itself.

Review by:
Latricia Batchelor Markle
Tenafy Public Library

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Free verse poetry represents one year in the life of a CP child with a single parent. Josie Wyatt goes to school in Room 204 where she is subject to "taunts like
tomatoes". She lives with her mother and grandmother on what used to be a 100 acre farm now reduced to 5 acres of garden surrounded by brick mansions. Her first real friend comes into her life, Jordan. Jordan lives in one of tose brick mansions with a rocket scientist for a father. An apppealing quick read with believable characters, lovely text and wonderful imagery.
On my top 10 list.
Beth, Closter