What It Is About: How can you lose your mother twice? It isn't easy, but unfortunately Wavie was one child that did lose her mother. Not only once, but twice. The first time was as a baby and the second time was as an upper elementary student. After losing her the second time, Wavie had to leave the only home she knew and go live with her "evil" aunt and horrible cousin. Wavie's mother left her a list of instructions to insure a happy and fulfilling life. Wavie is determined to make each item on the list come true. After arriving in Conley Hollow, or "Convict Hollow" as the residents call it, she meets two wonderful friends that makes living here somewhat bearable. While living with her aunt, Wavie begins to learn about her mother's early years and her life living in this small town. Her aunt doesn't have anything good to say about her mother, and Wavie isn't sure how she will be able to stay here. After she finds out some "secrets" about her mother, Wavie and her friends begin a journey to find out what is the truth, what is a lie, and where Wavie should truly be.
What I Thought Of It: When I began the book, I knew it was going to be one special story. I was drawn to Wavie and her mother and appreciated their incredible relationship. Then the story flipped and I had to "meet" the terrible aunt and endure her meanness toward Wavie; everyone for that matter. Wavie's two new friends were delightful and made me smile on many occasions. I loved how they supported their new friend and did everything they could to make life better for her. The back story of Wavie's mom growing up in the "holler" was fascinating. The writing was excellent and flowed from page to page. I'm so grateful that I got an "advanced" chance to read this incredible story.
Who Should Read It: I have lots of titles that I want to share with my fourth graders and now I have another one. I hope I have time to get them all in during the school year. This novel would make for an interesting and engaging read aloud in grades four, five, and/or six. I also think it could be used for individual readers in these grades. I've been noticing that many of the new middle-grade novels I've been reading contain short chapters. I think this is a positive move in the world of publishing. Kids seem to read more when the chapters are shorter. I actually enjoy books with short chapters compared to long ones. Be sure to look for this novel in January of 2018. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars