Publisher: Clean Reads
Publication date: January 6, 2016
Number of pages: 208
ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.
With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.
Author Jean Ann Williams, the eldest in a large family, enjoys digging into her fascinating childhood to create stories for children. Having written over one hundred articles for children and adults, this is her first book. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods and practicing archery with her bow.
I received a copy via Singing Librarian Books for an honest review
My Rating=4 Stars
It's 1960 and ClaireLee's family has recently moved from Oregon to the wilderness of Gallagher Springs in Northern California. Her mother has just given birth but both she and the baby need to be taken to the hospital. Thirteen-year-old Claire is left alone with her brothers and sisters and quickly becomes the one in charge. She needs to physically take care of them, and get them to school. She's ready to make friends and gets caught in the middle of feuding girls. She likes most of the girls involved and tries to bring them all together.
I liked Claire and there were times that I felt bad for the situation she found herself in. Her parents were a bit frustrating to me, especially when it took so long for her to find out what happened to her mother. When her mother came home, her behavior was confusing to Claire and she had to adjust to the new family dynamic. She stepped in when her family needed help, yet there were times she just wanted to escape and be a teenage girl.
Claire also had to figure out her friendships. She so badly wanted to be part of the Lavender Girls and was fascinated with the city girls and their lifestyle. There was one main reason not to join them, though. She had a big heart and wanted everyone to be accepted. This is a good coming-of-age middle-grade story that will also appeal to adults. I enjoyed getting to know Claire and look forward to reading more from this author in the future!
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