What It Is About: Robinson has all the family she needs. Her grandfather. It has always been the two of them. She knows little else about the rest of her family. Robbie's grandfather won't discuss her mother or the fact she is a different skin color than he is. Robinson has a bit of an anger issue that continues to get her in trouble at school. When she realizes her grandfather's memory is starting to fail him, she vows to herself to not get into trouble and do her very best at school. This is easier said than done. After one too many "altercations" at school, she finds herself in a school guidance group. She isn't thrilled about it, and to make matters worse; the class bully is also in the group. During group time, Robbie learns about herself, the meaning of family, and the fact that the other kids in the group are dealing with life just as much as she is.
What I Thought Of It: Everyone was right! This is a terrific story. Once I started, I couldn't stop. I absolutely adored the character of Robinson. She was smart, strong, and tender hearted. She may have had some anger "issues", but underneath this toughness, she had a heart of gold. Being that my own mother suffers from Alzheimer's Disease, I was drawn to the grandfather character and all that he was dealing with. As I was reading, I also gained several ideas that were used in the guidance group that I will implement in my classroom next fall. Everything about the story was top-notch and one that I will share with students.
Who Should Read It: Books like this one should be in all classrooms. It is such a strong and personal story. I would say that third through six graders would be able to read it on their own. The story would also be excellent for a class read aloud in those grades. I know many adult readers that have enjoyed the story. So, if you read and look for wonderful middle-grade novels, this is definitely one to add to your list. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars