Fourth Grade Journey

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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

How I Heard About It:  While at ALA in Chicago I saw Emery Lord signing her books in the exhibit hall.  I didn't stand in line for an autograph, but I did take notice of her titles and added them to my TBR list.  While looking through my "Cloud Library" app, I came across this title and downloaded it.  

What It Is About:  Lucy is pretty excited about her life.  Summer is about to begin.  She is a star on the swim team.  She has a great boyfriend.  Lucy and her parents will be spending time at their church camp which is an annual summer tradition.  All of these plans come to a screeching stop when she finds out her mother's cancer has returned.  Lucy was sure they were in the clear because of all the prayers and promises she made to God.  Life gets even more "off the rails" when her boyfriend decides to take a "pause" and her parents want her to attend a different camp instead of the family church camp.  Lucy isn't sure what she has done, but definitely feels like she is being punished.  Once she gets to camp, she realizes how different it is from the family camp she is use to.  She must get to know the other counselors and learn how to handle the campers.  What she wants most is to make sure her mother is going to be alright and finds it very difficult to do that from "across" the lake.  

What I Thought Of It:  For me the story started out quite strong.  I enjoyed getting to know Lucy, her friends, and her family members.  As the story progressed and she was at the new camp, getting to know life there, and adjust to her mother's news, the story stalled a bit for me.  It wasn't hard to keep reading, but I wouldn't describe it as a page turner; more me anyway.  Sometimes I struggle with young-adult stories because the story-line just doesn't grab me as much as I want it to.  This is especially true when the protagonist is a female.  I'm glad I read the story and think that Emery Lord has a strong and interesting writing style.  

Who Should Read It:  Lucy's story will appeal most to the female young-adult reader.  I think they will be able to relate to her, her relationships, and the feelings she experiences because of her mother's health.  Adult readers that enjoy a young-adult story with a female character going on a journey to find herself; will also enjoy this book.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  3 STARS out of 5 Stars

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