Friday March 25, 2011
Miles From Ordinary
by Carol Lynch Williams
March 15, 2011
St. Martin's GriffinGoodreads summary: Thirteen-year-old Lacey wakes to a beautiful summer morning excited to begin her new job at the library, just as her mother is supposed to start work at the grocery store. Lacey hopes that her mother's ghosts have finally been laid to rest; after all, she seems so much better these days, and they really do need the money. But as the hours tick by and memories come flooding back, a day full of hope spins terrifyingly out of control....
“No one can get inside the head and heart of a 13-year-old girl better than Carol Lynch Williams, and I mean no one," said James S. Jacobs, Professor of Children's Literature at Brigham Young University, of her breakout novel, The Chosen One. Now this award-winning YA author brings us an equally gripping story of a girl who loves her mother, but must face the truth of what life with that mother means for both of them.
Pontifications...As a librarian in a middle school I often see kids who have a certain look to them...tired, worn out, overloaded...more than just your average "up to late" scenario. I often wonder what is going on in their lives that seems to have left them so wiped out. I know things are tough out there, I'm not ignorant, sheltered or blind, but its reads like Miles From Ordinary that remind me to really pay attention.
The books starts out very subtle as you get the feeling Lacey is hyper-aware of her mothers feelings, actions and state of mind. As Lacey brings us along with her on her first day at her new "job" at the local library and her mothers first day of work at the local Winn-Dixie your heart will go to her as she struggles to prepare both herself and her mother for this new adventure. My heart swelled as she worked through her own self-doubt, insecurities and fear of bringing her mother out into the world. The anger she feels towards herself for simply wanting a few hours of time on her own is down right heart wrenching!
The time-line of the story is really just one day, but through flashbacks and stories of her past you get the full picture of Lacey's burden. Her loneliness is palpable, she yearns for a friend and when a boy she knows from school talks to her on the bus ride to the library, she soon learns that a friendly helping hand makes all the difference in the world.
This is a superbly told tale of love, loss and family ties. Its easy to forget about the children of the mentally ill and this story illustrates the devastating results when those children are left to face that issue alone.
Best suited for 6th grade and up. Recommended...read it now!
Visit the authors website www.carollynchwilliams.com