Friday, September 11, 2015

Book review - Pieces of Why

Title: Pieces of Why
Author: K.L. Going
Genre: realistic fiction
Similar books: Zebra Forest by Adina Gewirtz
                     The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielsen
Rather excellent
Summary: Tia has always taken joy in singing with her New Orleans youth choir. It is the bright spot of living with her overworked and emotionally distant mother in a bad neighborhood. Singing has always been her answer to the bad stuff. When a shooting happens outside the church where her choir practices, though, she feels as if she's lost her music. For the first time, she questions the realities of her life and learns the truth about the crime that sent her father to prison.

My opinion: We don't often think about the family members of the perpetrators of a crime. They, too, are victimized by their loved one's actions. That is part of the focus of this novel: the guilt and pain of a violent criminal's family. The other, almost larger, part is the idea that trauma can steal our passions from us. While this book isn't action heavy, it has plenty of exploration of our emotional worlds which become particularly complicated at puberty (as the main characters in this novel find themselves). While the situation in this novel is not one that most middle schoolers will find themselves in, the emotional situation is more universal.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

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