Monday, September 23, 2013

MMGM -- Sure Signs of Crazy

 
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

 

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born.

 
 



From Booklist

*Starred Review* For the opening of her middle-grade debut, Harrington cuts right to the heart of her narrator’s grim situation: “You’ve never met anyone like me. Unless, of course, you’ve met someone who survived her mother trying to drown her and now lives with an alcoholic father.” Sarah Nelson was 2 when that happened; now she is turning 12 in a small Texas town and “looking for any signs of going crazy.”
Don’t think this will be a hard sell to readers, though, for Harrington has created a protagonist who is, in her own way, as clear-eyed, tough-minded, and inspiring as any dystopian hero. Sarah faces down threats from all sides: “The more information I gather, the better I can defend myself against the world, against the brain inside me that may or may not be like hers.” And even as her father repeatedly fails her (as when he drank and slept through her birthday), Sarah finds allies and role models, from an English teacher to a home-from-college neighbor to Atticus Finch, who shows Sarah how to be a caring human being.
Harrington doesn’t leave out humor—she has fun with Sarah’s romantic illusions—but makes it clear that it’s Sarah’s courage and urge to communicate that will push her beyond her traumatic childhood. Grades 5-8. --Abby Nolan 


My reading preferences most often veer toward the fantasy realm, largely because that is what my kids read.  This book, however, is very real--wonderfully, powerfully, beautifully real. I love Sarah Nelson. I love her so much. She is a survivor, a thinker, someone all middle grade girls should meet. The fact that she spends her summer writing to Atticus Finch doesn't hurt either. :)

I can't recommend this book highly enough. It is one of the most powerful and endearing MG books I've read in a very long time. Karen Harrington is a phenomenal writer and this is a phenomenal story!


Do. Not. Miss. This. One.







11 comments:

Barbara Watson said...

I *almost* bought this yesterday while browsing the bookstore but didn't. I needed someone's view that I trust. Now I have it and will head back to the bookstore and purchase it. :-)

SA Larsenッ said...

I'm like you. I usually read fantasy, paranormal, anything away from the 'real' of life. But every now and then I'll pick up a contemporary that sweeps my heart away. This one sure sounds like it would. Thank you for sharing it with us.

(*miss u*)

~Sia McKye~ said...

I no longer have kids in middle grades. Mine is 18 and reads adult books and yes, leans towards fantasy and si-fi. I was the same at his age and still am, to a certain extent. I love reading stories that take me away to another world with powers and heroes.

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Laura Marcella said...

This book sounds great. I love it that she writes to Atticus Finch! Thanks for the recommendation.

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Patti said...

This book sounds really interesting. I'll definitely be looking it up.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm like you and read mostly fantasy or other not contemporary genres. But this sounds really good. I'll have to try to check it out.

Old Kitty said...

Sarah Nelson does come across as wise and tough for her age!! But with a vulnerable inside too! And glad she has the best people to help her - I mean Atticus Finch! Brilliant! Take care
x

Joanne R. Fritz said...

How very cool that she writes to Atticus. Sounds like a winner.

Gina C said...

Now that is an opening line!! Can't wait to read this one.

Angela Ackerman said...

Wow, this one sounds like a powerful one--thanks for the tip!

timetraveltimestwo said...

This sounds it has a really interesting main character I would really like!

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