Monday, February 19, 2018

MG Friendship Novel Tender, Touching

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Ever since Katie Burton moved to Boston four months ago, she and her neighbor Ana Petrova have been best friends.  At least that's what Ana thinks.  Katie still misses her BFF in Utah.  She's getting used to Ana's effusive personality, but she's a little frightened of it, too.  With her heart condition, Katie's used to playing it safe; Ana's an impulsive risk-taker, whose wild schemes sometimes get them both in trouble.

Although Katie wants to trust Ana, she feels like she can't share her biggest secret.  Not only was Katie adopted from Russia as a toddler, but lately she's been wondering about her birth family and the country where she was born.  She doesn't want to upset her kind, loving adoptive parents with awkward questions and yet, she can't stop thinking about Russia.  Ana is hiding her own troubles.  Ever since Ana's dad walked out, her mom has been so depressed that Ana's been the one taking care of the house and her little brother.  The surprise arrival of her brusque, bossy Babushka is making everything worse.  Ana has to convince her dad to come back, but how?
In a time when both girls desperately need someone to lean on, their secrets are tearing their new friendship apart.  Can they learn to trust each other or will the weight of their individual problems pulverize a bond that hasn't even really had a chance to form? 

Paper Chains, a middle grade novel by Elaine Vickers, tells a tender, touching story about a burgeoning friendship with all its charms and challenges.  Both of our heroines are sympathetic and likable.  It's simple to root for the survival of their friendship.  There's a lot going on in their lives, maybe too much, as the story sometimes feels unfocused.  The plot gets far-fetched as well, but overall, this is an engaging tale that teaches some valuable lessons about friendship, family, and fighting for what's really important.  

(Readalikes:  Hm, no specific titles are coming to mind.  You?)

Grade:

If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for subject matter that's most appropriate for readers over the age of 8

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Paper Chains from the generous folks at HarperCollins.  Thank you! 

4 comments:

Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin