Bethy-Bee (age 10) read and then listened to this book on CD and enjoyed it very much, although it’s not a Pollyanna-type book. In fact it’s rather sad, as we repeated many times in our talk about the book.
BB: A girl named Aubrey whose dad and sister died in a car crash and her mom abandoned her. It’s kind of a sad book, Her grandma comes to visit her and her mom, and when she finds out that her mom isn’t there, she has to take Aubrey back to where the grandma lives.
Me: How old is Aubrey?
BB: She’s eleven.
Me: Do you think you could take care of yourself? You’re ten. How long could you take care of yourself?
BB: Yeah I’d be really scared, but yeah, I could. As long as the TV was working and I had lots of food. As long as everything was still working. I could probably do it for a while.
Me: Aubrey made a friend when she came to her grandma’s. Why do you think Bridget wanted to be Aubrey’s friend?
BB: She knew Aubrey didn’t have any other friends, and Aubrey had been having a really hard time. And they just started playing together and became friends.
Me: What did Bridget do for Aubrey to be a friend to her?
BB: She was nice to her, didn’t talk about what happened to her dad and sister.
Me: What did you like best about the book?
BB: Hmmm. I liked the part where she stayed with Bridget for a while when her Grandma went to be with her mom. Really, I liked all the parts where she kept remembering stuff, all the little flashbacks.
Me: Was there anything you didn’t like?
BB: Not really.
Me: I thought it was kind of weird that she was friends with that boy, Marcus.
BB: Yeah, he was strange.
BB: One thing is Aubrey was always sad. Most of the book she always remembered her dad and little sister, and she was really sad. And when I listened to the audio version the reader made her sound really sad all the time and depressed. I guess I would be sad, too, if it happened to me. The audio version also made Aubrey’s little sister sound really countrified, like she was from the Veggie Tales Grapes of Wrath or something.
Me: Aubrey had to make a hard decision at the end of the book. Do you think she made the right decision?
BB: I think she did make the right decision because her mom was ready, but she wasn’t. I think if she went back to her mom then it wouldn’t work because she would still be really sad. I thought that counselor lady in the book sort of helped her, but she was kind of annoying. She was kind of interfering with Aubrey’s business, and it made her annoyed. And her grandma was dumb to think she needed a guidance counselor. Aubrey was already writing letters, and that helped her. But the counselor did help her when she was trying to run away, and that was good. If Aubrey did need to talk to anybody, though, she could talk to her fish.
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This book is also nominated for a Cybil Award, but the views expressed here are strictly my own —and Betsy-Bee’s.