How I Heard About It: The other day I went to the mailbox to find a piece of wonderful book mail. Donna was kind and thoughtful to send me an advanced copy of her upcoming novel that will enter the world in October of 2019. I was thrilled and got reading that very night.
What It Is About - FIVE Things You Need to Know:
1. *Cleveland Rosebud Potts is living her life in Sassafras, Florida. She doesn't enjoy living here and has made a plan to leave and move to Paris.
2. *Cleveland has even made a list of tasks she must accomplish in order to further her plan of getting to Paris.
3. *While working on her list, she is dealing with quite a bit of "life". She has a father that is incarcerated, a mother that has to work all the time, a sister that wants to break free also, a best friend who has a new friend, and an old best friend that is making life miserable for Cleveland.
4. *As Cleveland navigates her days of school and home, she comes to know who is truly there for her and who doesn't have her best interest at heart.
5. *Life may be difficult for Cleveland and her family, but in the end she learns all a person needs is their family and one or two really good friends. Plus a dream of traveling to France doesn't hurt.
What I Thought Of It - Five Observations/Reflections:
1. *I have loved all of Donna's stories. Each story brings something different and I learn something new. That is exactly what happened with her newest work of fiction.
2. *Cleveland was wonderful, smart, and sensitive. She had such heart and determination.
3. *I enjoyed reading about her relationships with her sister, her parents, her best friend, and even her "former" best friend.
4. *Donna included many important life-lessons that would lead to some wonderfully deep and meaningful conversations.
5. *I enjoy how Donna is not afraid to tackle real-life issues, incarceration, with honestly and sensitivity. These are the types of stories our young readers need.
Who Should Read It: The story of Cleveland would resonate with readers in grades five and/or six. Of course it definitely could be read by middle-school readers. Female readers may enjoy the story a bit more because the main character is female and wanting to experience life in Paris. This does not mean a male reader wouldn't enjoy the story especially since Cleveland's best friend is a boy. Happy Reading!
Rating: 4 STARS out of 5 Stars!