Author: Shari Green
Genre: realistic fiction
Similar books: Love that Dog by Sharon Creech
Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
Summary (provided by publisher): Sixth grade is coming to an end, and so is life as Macy McMillan knows it. Already a “For Sale” sign mars the front lawn of her beloved house. Soon her mother will upend their perfect little family, adding a stepfather and six-year-old twin stepsisters. To add insult to injury, what is Macy’s final sixth grade assignment? A genealogy project. Well, she’ll put it off—just like those wedding centerpieces she’s supposed to be making. Just when Macy’s mother ought to be understanding, she sends Macy next door to help eighty-six-year-old Iris Gillan, who is also getting ready to move—in her case into an assisted living facility. Iris can’t pack a single box on her own and, worse, she doesn’t know sign language. How is Macy supposed to understand her? But Iris has stories to tell, and she isn’t going to let Macy’s deafness stop her. Soon, through notes and books and cookies, a bond grows between them. And this friendship, odd and unexpected, may be just what Macy needs to face the changes in her life. Shari Green, author of Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, writes this summer story with the lightest touch, spinning Macy out of her old life and into a new one full of warmth and promise for the future.
My opinion: Some stories are just made for the verse novel format. This is one of them. Pacing is tight and word choice is solid. Some verse novels get so caught up in artistry that the reader isn't clear on what is actually happening. That isn't the case here. I also appreciated that while Macy is deaf, its not the sum total of her character. She's your average middle grade girl who just happens to be deaf. She has social problems at school, struggles to connect with her future step family. Problems that are largely her own fault. She is not dismissed due to her handicap. Rather, she uses that as a reason to push others away. It may not be the first verse novel I'd hand to a young reader but I wouldn't hesitate to give it to a kid who's already read a couple.
More information: Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess releases May 15.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.