English / Canada
Root beer candy and other miracles
Toronto, Ontario: Pajama Press, 2016. – 239 p.
Island | Grandmother | Family | Superstition | Prejudice | Collaboration | Verse novel
Reading age: 10+
White Ravens issue: 2017
Shari Green’s first book for middle-grade readers is set on a small coastal island. The author’s lyrical free verse smoothly alternating between thoughts, descriptions, and dialogue, paints an atmospheric picture of a little beach community and its idiosyncratic people from eleven-year-old Bailey’s point of view. Spending her summer holidays with her little brother at their grandmother’s house, Bailey discovers a driftwood mermaid, finds new friends, and builds a tree house. Yet underneath the surface of the laid-back beach holiday, emotions run high. With her parents away at Marriage Counselling Camp, Bailey believes she needs a miracle to fix their problems, and while she is at it, she would also have a go at fixing everyone else’s troubles: her friend Daniel’s health, the growing rift between the village people, the thievery of a treasure, etc. Both funny and heart-breaking, this verse novel with its imaginative metaphors follows a spunky heroine as she slowly comes to peace with the fact that the world follows its own course.