I was lucky enough to have a couple of ARC's sent to me by Nancy Paulsen a couple of weeks ago. It was a complete delight to go to the mailbox and find the package waiting for me. Thank you Nancy for sending me this beautiful story.
What It Is About: Alice isn't happy about having to move to a small town in Georgia with her mother and brother. They have moved here to help care for Alice's grandmother who is having memory issues. What also makes Alice quite upset is that they have come to this town without her father. All Alice can really focus on is finding a way to reunite her parents so they can be a "true" family again. Once Alice and her family settle into their new home, she meets the elderly black lady who lives next door. Alice gets in trouble with her mother and must make things right, by asking the neighbor, Miss Millie, if there is anything she can do to help her. Miss Millie takes her up on the offer and asks Alice to walk her dog. The only problem is the dog doesn't want to walk with just Alice, but with Miss Millie as well. The three of them begin daily walks in which the two of them share their own stories and learn about each other in which a true friendship is formed. Miss Millie teaches Alice many aspects of her history while Alice shares her struggles with her missing father and trying to bring her family together.
What I Thought Of It: For some reason I can always tell if I'm going to enjoy a story from the first few pages. When I began this book, I knew it was going to be a winner. I absolutely loved the story of Alice and Miss Millie. Alice was so kind hearted and wanted the best for her mother, her brother, and even her "missing" father. She had more strength than most adults. Miss Millie was able to help her through some difficult times while at the same time Alice brought new joy and happiness to her life. The surrounding cast of characters added greatly to the story and I found myself enjoying each and every one of them. Even the "bad" ones had some redeemable qualities. The writing was beautiful, touching, and the kind that draws the reader in and doesn't let go until the very last page. This will definitely be a book that I will share with my students at some point.
Who Should Read It: Any adult reader that enjoys reading middle-grade stories must put this title on their TBR list. It is historical fiction at its best. There are so many elements that can be admired throughout the book. The reading level is probably for students in grades five, six, and above. I believe it would make for an excellent read aloud in grades four, five, and six. The book comes out in July so be sure to look for it then. Happy Reading...
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars