Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Friday, July 7, 2017

Paper Chains by Elaine Vickers

How I Heard About It:  This ARC came to me via #bookexpedition.  This is a Twitter book group I'm a member with.  We share books, take notes, and send the book back to the author when everyone has read it.  It has been such a rewarding experience.  This was my summer #bookaday.  I had an afternoon of complete joy while reading this story.  

What It Is About:  Katie has recently moved to Boston with her adoptive parents.  It is here that she meets Ana.  They are completely different, but something seems to pull them together like paper in a chain.  As the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday approach, Katie starts to think about her birth parents.  When she finds a box in the attic with "mementos", she realizes the time has come to gain some answers about her "beginnings".  Across the street Ana is dealing with her own secrets.  She is holding her family together after her professional hockey player father deserted the family.  Ana does everything she can to make sure both her mother and younger brother Mikey are happy and moving forward.  She isn't happy when her father's mother arrives to stay with the family.  Ana's Babushka isn't a kind woman and doesn't make life easy for either Ana and Mikey.  Ana comes up with a plan to bring her father back so her Babushka can leave their home.  Katie comes up with a plan to find out more about her own story.  These two girls each struggle to find answers.  Some of the struggles pull them apart while some push them together.  

What I Thought Of It:  A good book, in my opinion, is one that takes me away for an entire afternoon and I forget all about my own life.  That is what happened this afternoon.  This was definitely a #bookaday.  I thought the writing was so smart.  The story line went back and forth between each girl's perspective.  This technique pulled me in as a reader.  Each girl's story was unique, special, and heart-warming.  I thought the interactions between Ana and Katie were quite realistic.  I appreciate when an author is able to accomplish this.  The theme of family came through with each and every page.  There were so many moments when my heart was full.  

Who Should Read It:  This is the first Elaine Vickers book that I have read, but I can tell you it won't be the last.  I can tell you I will be reading Like Magic very soon.  Fourth, Fifth, and sixth graders would be the ideal audience for this story.  The book could be used as a read aloud and/or used for individual readers.  Female readers may be drawn to the story more than boys because of the central characters of Katie and Ana.  But the fact that hockey plays a role in the story and you have the awesome character of Mikey, there certainly would be boys that would love the story just as much.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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