Monday, April 28, 2014

Hope is a Ferris Wheel for MMGM

(Originally I'd scheduled this for next week, but May 5 through 11 is Screen-Free Week, so my post next Monday will be about that. Come back on May 12 to see how I fared!)




Hope is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera (Amulet Books, March 2014, for ages 8 to 12)

Find Robin on her website

Follow Robin on Twitter

Synopsis (from the publisher): Ten-year-old Star Mackie lives in a trailer park with her flaky mom and her melancholy older sister, Winter, whom Star idolizes. Moving to a new town has made it difficult for Star to make friends, when her classmates tease her because of where she lives and because of her layered blue hair. But when Star starts a poetry club, she develops a love of Emily Dickinson and, through Dickinson's poetry, learns some important lessons about herself and comes to terms with her hopes for the future.

Why MG readers would love it:  Star is a terrific character, brave and honest and funny. Her vocab sentences for her teacher are both hilarious and heartbreaking. This book is perfect for fans of Also Known as Harper by Ann Haywood Leal because the main character in that book has a similar home situation and also finds solace in poetry. 

Why writers would love it: The voice! I struggle with voice all the time and I know a lot of writers do. Study this one to see how Robin brought Star to life with such authenticity. I read this more than a month ago and I'm still thinking about her, as if Star is a real kid.

What MG characters continue to live in your mind long after you've read the book?

For other Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts, see Shannon's blog.


22 comments:

  1. I struggle with voice too and love stories where the voice shines out. Sounds like a book to add to my huge TBR list.

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  2. This is on my to-read list and a copy is on reserve at my local library when they catalog and process their brand-new copy themselves!

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    1. Yay, Barbara! Hope you enjoy reading it.

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  3. I read this one recently and loved it. Followed it up with an older but similar title, ALSO KNOWN AS HARPER, which I review for next week's MMGM. The voice really does shine in both of these.

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    1. Greg, that's the same title I mentioned in my post! I agree it's similar. :)

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  4. Your review is spot on. I love it when we both enjoy the same book!!! :)

    ~Akoss

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  5. I love the cover on this one. The story sounds great. Thanks for telling me about it. I will definitely check it out.

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    1. Isn't that a great cover, Rosi? Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. This is on my TBR list too. I've been hearing such great things about it--and I'm fascinated by the Emily Dickinson tie-in. Plus, the author lives in my state! Thanks for a great review as always!

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    1. I heard a lot about this book on Twitter, believe it or not, before I ever bought my copy. Oh, how cool that you and Robin both live in Oregon. I've always wanted to go there.

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  7. This one has popped up repeatedly on my radar, and finally last week I brought home a copy! Now I just need to find time to read it, so thanks for the nudge on that. :D And enjoy your screen free week!

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne. Enjoy the book (when you find time to read it).

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  8. I know Robin in real life,. and she is as funny as you would think, after reading Hope is a Ferris Wheel. Thanks for the review, Joanne!

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    1. You are so lucky, Michael! She must be fun AND funny. Thank you for the Twitter shout-out.

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  9. I read an ARC of this and loved it.

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  10. Oh, I'm dying to read this! I keep hearing wonderful things about it :)

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    1. Of course you do, Jess. It's a wonderful book. Hope you get a chance to read it soon.

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  11. This sounds like a great read and I love that Star finds poetry! Great cover too. :) How wonderful that the voice of the characters really come through. Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jess

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  12. Thanks for the reminder about screen free week. Did a whole lesson on it and then promptly forgot! Never really a problem for me, though.

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YAY for comments! I read and appreciate each one and I always try to answer. All opinions welcome. Let's have a conversation.