On the right, a Christmas tree. Old fashioned bubble lights mostly working, a couple of snowball lights already out, Hallmark ornaments galore. On the left, what can only be termed an eclectic Bethlehem. The nativity scene set up in the front, with an old school New England flower shop, a gasoline station, an observatory and a lighthouse surrounding it.
Ayesha senses that all is not the same as other weddings, but her parents worry does not dampen her spirits. Ayesha is still surprised when they get to the house and her other family members are not there.
It’s been well over 30 years since I experienced a Thanksgiving like that; a Thanksgiving with a large extended family, surrounded by those with whom I share a common ancestry, but really so much more. Whether through blood or marriage, those familial bonds, made often through strife laced with love (and not the other way around), are indelible. They are what put the “crazy,” in Crazy Glue. Yes, we have framily, but even those of us who roll our eyes at going home for the holidays, sometimes wish we had a home to go home to.
By the end of the year, the kids realize that Ms. Gupta had been right. They made some great friends in class. But what about the next year? Ms. Gupta to the rescue again!
In this rich and poignant coming-of-age novel, Jennifer De Leon tackles some ripped-from-the-headlines topics through an engaging young narrator with an authentic voice. I loved it, my teenager loved it, and I think you will too.
This book is visually stunning, as should be expected from Love. There is enough detail in her gorgeously rendered pages to get swept away in the melodies of her drawings. There is a grace to her artwork that draws beauty from the line between detail and abstraction. No finer example is found than the “mermaid tree” where our pair are ultimately found.
Aimed primarily at the youngest “readers,” the book provides a good introduction to the different types of families that have existed for centuries in our world. In a simple expository format, basically show and tell, the book takes the child on a tour of various familial groupings.
The key to making the book successful, however, is that it actually has a well-developed, original storyline that unifies all of the elements. De Palma knows that children are capable of understanding complex stories even at a young age.
We follow Evelyn, a young Canadian girl, as she begins Grade 5. Evelyn lives with her father, who crumbles his crackers into his tomato soup “as if he’s lazy and in a hurry at the same time” and her Scottish mother, who “never breaks her crackers” or is in a hurry. “She is on top of things.”