Thought for the day:
For my fabulous giveaway, the winner is Ellen Ramsey! (Cue the fireworks please!) Congratulations to you, Ellen. I will be sending you a copy of Applewhites at Wit’s End. It is such a fun read, and I know you’ll enjoy it. I have another giveaway for today, so stay tuned.
A couple of weeks ago, I was the winner of a book on Elizabeth Stevens Omlor’s fun and informative blog, Banana Peelin’s: Up and Downs of Becoming a Children’s Writer. You can hop on over to her blog by clicking HERE. The book I won is The Year the Swallows Came Earlyby Kathryn Fitzmaurice. This is a lovely middle-grade novel and I’m happy to not only tell you about it, but offer my autographed copy to one of you out there in my giveaway today.
Eleven-year-old Groovy Robinson has plans for her future. She loves to cook and dreams of going to culinary school when she is grown. Her mother, a beautician, checks their horoscopes every day, and Groovy’s says she should “expect the unexpected.” That is the day big changes happen for Groovy. While she and her dad are walking into town, they are stopped by the town policeman, Officer Miguel. Before Groovy knows it, her father is being driven away in the back seat of the town police car. She is sure it’s a mistake, but when she tells her mother what has happened, her mother not only knows, but tells Groovy she is the one who called the police. It seems Groovy’s great-grandmother had left her enough money to send her to culinary school, but Groovy’s father gambled it away.
The main story of Groovy and her troubles is nicely paralleled by Frankie’s story. His mother left a couple of years earlier, promising to not be gone long, but she hasn’t been back since. Frankie is so angry about this situation that he is sick to his stomach most of the time, popping antacids as if they were candy. Frankie and Groovy help each other come to grips with their problems and find their ways through to the other side of these troubles. All this happens against the backdrop of Capistrano, the mission ruins to which tiny swallows return each year to nest. This renewal of nature bears the promise of the future Groovy and Frankie have through forgiveness and love. Not everything is answered in this sweet novel, but then not everything is answered in life.
If you are interested in more great middle-grade books, check out Shannon Messenger’s great blog every week on Mondays for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday. Click HERE to visit.