New from Kevin Henkes: Sweeping Up the Heart

A novel about loss, loneliness, and friendship that tells the story of the spring break that changes seventh-grader Amelia Albright’s life forever.

Amelia Albright dreams about going to Florida for spring break like everyone else in her class, but her father–a cranky and stubborn English professor–has decided Florida is too much adventure.

Now Amelia is stuck at home with him and her babysitter, the beloved Mrs. O’Brien. The week ahead promises to be boring, until Amelia meets Casey at her neighborhood art studio. Amelia has never been friends with a boy before, and the experience is both fraught and thrilling. When Casey claims to see the spirit of Amelia’s mother (who died ten years before), the pair embarks on an altogether different journey in their attempt to find her.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (March 19, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006285254X
ISBN-13: 978-0062852540

Purchase here!

In Memory of Dad by Maranda Russell

A touching story of how to learn to live again after tragedy can be found in Maranda Russell’s short children’s story, In Memory of Dad.

This fictional story is loosely based upon true events from the author’s life. Kaley Jergins was blessed with a wonderful family, good friends, and the talent and passion to succeed on the basketball court. When her father suffers a fatal heart attack, everything changes. Mom doesn’t smile anymore; they eat lots of takeout; and Kaley can’t seem to face playing the sport that she and her father loved so much. It feels like nothing will ever be the same again.

If you’re looking for a short and simple way to help a child deal with the loss of a parent, In Memory of Dad can certainly help. At a little over 2,100 words, it provides a way for young readers to get a glimpse into Kaley’s world without getting too overwhelmed by a complicated storyline. While it is mostly telling, not showing, the story flows nicely and has a superb ending. Readers who have lost a parent will realize what they are feeling is normal, and hopefully things will get better. The touching author’s note at the end will connect with the reader.

Russell has also written two children’s picture books and contributed to Weres in the City.I would definitely check out her other books.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Format:Kindle Edition
  • File Size:85 KB
  • Publisher:Maranda Russell; 1 edition (August 28, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • SRP:  $.99 (Also available at Smashwords)

I purchased this book from Amazon for my Kindle. I received no monetary compensation for this review.