Finding Grace, by Becky Citra — Middle Grade Book Recommendation

September 18, 2014

finding_graceTitle: Finding Grace (A Gutsy Girl Book)

Author: Becky Citra

Publisher: Toronto: Second Story Press, 2014.

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction, set in 1954

Audience Age: 8-12

Themes/Topics: Friendship, secrets, families

Opening Sentences: Dear Grace, I have been accused of a crime! Someone stole Nancy Collier’s brand-new glow-in-the-dark yo-yo today. Miss Noonan did a desk check. I wasn’t worried (why would I be?), but guess where the yo-yo turned up?

Mom didn’t get out of bed all day. She pretended she did, but I can tell.

Synopsis: This is the sort of book you daren’t say too much about, because spoilers would definitely… spoil things. But – once in a while, there’s a book that must be read cover to cover with as few interruptions as possible. This is that sort of book. One of the best things about devouring a book is that, unlike food, the book is still there to devour all over again.

As soon as Hope learned how to write letters, she started writing to her imaginary friend, Grace. Her only friend, Grace. Hope doesn’t have the knack of making friends. She and her mother move a lot, when they can no longer afford the place they’re living in, so Hope changes schools a lot, too. That doesn’t help.

Hope’s mom hasn’t been to work for quite a while. She’s too depressed to get out of bed, most mornings. When Mom finally goes back to work, her job has been given to someone else. They move in with Granny, the last possible place for them. Then Granny dies. Shortly after that shock, Hope discovers a secret, a secret that turns her world – and her ideas about Grace – upside down.

I can’t say anything more without saying too much. All I will say is get to a bookstore or a library, and get this book!

The author is Canadian, and has written nineteen books for children. Her website, BeckyCitra.com, says that one of her kids’ book series is Jeremy and the Enchanted Theatre, a time travel series. Guess what I’ll be looking for next?

Availability: On bookstore shelves, such as The Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN, now. Shop independents! (Come back to my blog on September 26th for a post about The Red Balloon.)

15 People reacted on this

  1. I can tell from your wonderful synopsis that I’d better have a whole box of tissues with me when I read this. But, it sounds like a gripping story that I must read. I’ll see if our library has it. I probably mentioned this before, but I also love that you’re featuring Canadian literature, because there are lots of terrific Canadian authors who need to be introduced to the U.S. 🙂

    1. You’re right about the tissues, Teresa! You’re also right that it’s a gripping story that you must read. Thanks so much for mentioning the Canadian authors — it means a lot to me to introduce them, and I’m glad you feel the same way. 🙂

    1. It is longer than the books you usually read, Rhythm, but it’s a good book — and I’m going to see if there are other Gutsy Girl books. I like that name, too!

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