I purposefully saved this one for last, because it was the last to get done. In fact, it almost didn’t get done! That’s just the first amazing thing about this story. Let me give you a list:
- The author was 12 when she wrote it (I think she’s 13 now).
- This is her third novel.
- It’s 200 pages, 40,000 words.
- She edited so seriously that she practically re-wrote the story twice to get it right.
- It contains extraordinary vocabulary (I had to look up three words to make sure she used them correctly; she did).
- It’s driven by a well-structured plot, believable and complex characters, and a truly heartfelt exploration of human emotions.
- The book is full of beautiful sentences and was a joy to read.
Young authors usually write characters who have an opinion and are proven right by the end of their story, and that’s a hugely satisfying point of view. In this novel, however, the protagonist actually grows and changes throughout the story! By the end, she has grown enough to see her situation from another perspective, and to understand the emotions behind the choices of other characters around her. This is an exceedingly mature point of view and bumps this from a Pre-Teen novel to a Young Adult.
I’m proud of all my students for the unique obstacles they each faced. In this case, finishing the novel -- to her own high standards and within the strict deadline -- was the obstacle and this talented writer succeeded beautifully.
Photo courtesy of Binks at MorgueFile.com