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Meant to Be — Review

Thought for the Day:

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”
~ Pele ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

C. S. Lakin has a lot of great advice for writers, and this is no exception. HERE she offers how to Open Your Scenes with These 3 Cinematic Techniques.

We all suffer from writer’s block now and again. It can be caused by many things. My latest bout has been related to my illness, but I need to get back in my chair and get to work. HERE Allison Williams has a good post on Beating Writer’s Block.

Bryn Donovan has a lot of helpful posts on her blog, Tell Your Stories, Love Your Life. HERE she has a great post that will help you with showing rather than telling, a Master List of Actions that Show Fear.

At last, I have news. This malady that has taken over my life has finally been identified and has a name. I have something called Granulomatosis with polyangiitis. It is an autoimmune disorder, and it has treatments available that should bring it into remission, and with any luck, it will stay that way, but if there are flare-ups, they can be managed and banished. My daughter and I will meet with the rheumatologist on Wednesday and find out what the treatment will be, and, hopefully, I will be back on my feet before too long. In the meantime, I have books and baseball (with my beloved Giants!) to keep me going.

The publicist from Candlewick Press contacted me a while back with offerings of review copies of spring books. The only one that captured my interest was Meant to Be by Jo Knowles. I really like the cover, and the story sounded interesting. The main character is a nine-year-old girl, and, honestly, I don’t remember coming across a lot of books with main characters that age. It is an age that falls between chapter books and middle-grade novels, so I found that intriguing. Anyway, I requested a copy, and I found the book quite charming.

Ivy and her family have recently moved to Applewood Heights, an apartment building that is a little worse for wear. The linoleum is peeling and paint is chipping and floors creak. But Ivy loves it there. At their old house, a farmhouse the family lost to foreclosure, they had more room, but Ivy had no friends nearby. At Applewood Heights, Ivy has to share a room with her older sister Rachel, who is NOT happy about it, but Ivy has two best friends, Lucas and Alice, only an elevator ride away. Every Saturday morning, the three get together to watch Bake it to Make it, a great cooking show that inspires them to bake new recipes they share with their neighbors and families. But while Ivy loves living at Applewood Heights, she doesn’t understand that not everyone thinks it is a place they’d like to stay forever. And she doesn’t always think before she speaks nor does she have much empathy for others. This really gets her and her friendships into trouble. Since she means well, she just can’t seem to understand why others don’t feel the same way. The question is can she mend the friendships and mend her ways.

Jo Knowles

Jo Knowles has written a novel with a lot of heart and an engaging story. The characters are all well-drawn and very credible. Each has his or her own backstory that enriches this complex novel. There are times the three major characters in the story seem older than nine, but it doesn’t interrupt the narrative since it is an age very underrepresented in middle-grade literature. Knowles’s writing is lovely, the dialogue is true to the characters, and the adults play important roles without overtaking the young characters. The problems the kids face are very real and relatable. This is a terrific book that deserves a wide readership. Don’t miss this one.

Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

23 thoughts on “Meant to Be — Review”

  1. Love the Pele quote—a philosophy I try to live by. I’d imagine that you feel better just knowing what you’re dealing with. I hope you get some answers, Rosi. I’m flying to Boston tomorrow to start a Springer brother reunion tour. I just booked a quick two-day trip with a couple of buddies to see the River Cats (Giants’ farm team) on a Friday, followed by the Giants on Saturday. Good friends and baseball—a winning combination.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a relief to finally have an answer after so many tests and so much time feeling lousy! Hope your recovery is quick and complete!
    Meant to Be sounds interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds a good book, thanks for the review. So glad to hear your malady has finally been identified. Once identified, it can be treated, so great news. Best of luck with the treatment and wishing you a speedy recovery!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reading that you now have a diagnosis and a plan to make things better made my day. Best of luck with your treatment. I’m sure it will go well.
    Thanks for the links. I don’t necessarily get writer’s block but suffer from lack of time to write. I used to write from 5:30-7 in the morning but often can’t do that anymore with other commitments. Loved the other link of showing fear.
    Meant to Be sounds like it would be a good read-aloud with discussion possibilities. I will add this title to my TBR list but it might be next year before I get to it!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m really glad you have a diagnosis and a plan. Thank you for posting your review of this book. I’ve been looking forward to reading it!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Relieved to know you are on the mend. The sounds interesting. I am liking these characters who may have social issues but are basically difficult to like all the time. It doesn’t need a label.as.much as it need patience and understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

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