Search This Blog

2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

2024 Challenge Sign-Up Post

January Reviews Link-Up

February Reviews Link-Up

March Reviews Link-Up

April Reviews Link-Up

May Reviews Link-Up

June Reviews Link-Up

July Reviews Link-Up

August Reviews Link-Up

September Reviews Link-Up

October Reviews Link-Up

November Reviews Link-Up

December Reviews Link-Up

My Progress:

12 / 30 books. 40% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois (2)
- Indiana (1)
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan
- Minnesota
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (3)
- Utah
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (2)
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin (1)
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (1)
- Canada (1)
- England (10)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (4)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

48 / 50 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

40 / 52 books. 77% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

27 / 40 books. 68% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

10 / 25 books. 40% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

12 / 26.2 miles. 46% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

26 / 100 books. 26% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

64 / 104 books. 62% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Thursday, December 10, 2020

MG Scavenger Hunt Novel Upbeat Despite Grief Theme

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Last year, Joy Fonseca had a smart, kind best friend named Lukas Brunetti.  She had even begin to think of him as more than just a buddy.  Then, he had an accident and died.  Joy is consumed by grief, still aching from the loss a year later.  On her 13th birthday, she finally decides to open the envelope Lukas left for her exactly one year ago on the morning he died.  She knows it's the first clue in their annual birthday scavenger hunt.  Is it possible that the clues he planted then will still be there now?  Joy's not sure, but she's finally ready to find out.

As Joy travels all over her little seaside town following Lukas' clues, she's reminded of all the great memories they made together.  Swinging back-and-forth between the present (from Joy's point-of-view) and the past (from Lukas'), the story paints a picture of a sweet friendship, the kind that endures even when death intervenes.

Although Seven Clues to Home by Gae Polisner and Nora Raleigh Baskin is about grief and other hard things, it's a hopeful novel that reminds readers how important it is to live even in the face of heartbreak.  It's more upbeat than it sounds, featuring likable characters and a treasure hunt format that makes it into a fun, exciting adventure with a little bit of mystery mixed in.  While I didn't absolutely adore this novel, I did enjoy it overall.

(Readalikes:  I feel like there are a million middle grade novels about grief, but no specific title is coming to mind.  You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for tough subject matter and references to illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

Stead's Newest Poignant But Hopeful

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

It's been two years since her parents' divorce and lots has changed for 10-year-old Bea.  While things have turned out mostly okay, she still worries a lot, which makes her eczema act up.  To help calm herself, she keeps a list in her notebook of the things in her life that have not and will not ever change.  She knows her mom and dad will always love her, for example.  That's a constant, no matter what.

When Bea's dad informs her that he and his boyfriend will soon be getting married, Bea's thrilled.  She loves Jesse.  He's even got a daughter Bea's age, which means she'll finally have the sister she's always wanted.  She just knows they're going to be BFFs.  As the wedding date comes closer, though, Bea discovers that nothing ever goes perfectly.  Building a new family isn't easy and sometimes change is difficult, confusing, and heartbreaking.  With her family structure shifting once again, Bea has to learn how to manage her anxiety, deal with difficult situations, and find happiness along the way.

The List of Things That Will Not Change is the newest middle grade offering from Newbery Award-winning author Rebecca Stead.  Although its plot is a little unfocused, the story is realistic in that it has both sad and happy parts.  My favorite element of the novel, in fact, is its validation of emotions—not just that they can be super complicated, but also that it's okay, even important, to feel them.  Bea's voice as she's dealing with hers is pitch-perfect, making her a narrator who is both authentic and relatable.  Although The List of Things That Will Not Change deals with some tough subjects, overall it's an upbeat, hopeful novel.  I enjoyed it, even if I didn't absolutely love it.

(Readalikes:  Hm, nothing's coming to mind.  You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for violence and topics most suited for kids over 10 years old

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson


The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive