Thursday, August 2, 2018

JUST DANCE by Patricia MacLachlan / Book Review #JustDance

By: Patrica MacLachlan
Published by: Simon Kids
Released on: September 12, 2017
Ages: 7 & up
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A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

A coming-of-age story about finding your own voice while learning to understand the people you love the most.

Sylvie Bloom wants to find something new and exciting this summer—at least more exciting than the cows, goats, and chickens on her family’s farm that she’s become accustomed to. Luckily, Sylvie’s teacher Mrs. Ludolf has the perfect idea. Sylvie can take over her husband Sheriff Ludolf’s column in the newspaper for the summer, reporting on all the important events that happen in their small Nebraska town. Sylvie is thrilled to have a new challenge, but she’s not sure she’ll actually see anything amazing. At least nothing like the things her mother saw when she traveled the world as a famous opera singer.

Sylvie can’t figure out why her mother would give up singing in front of thousands of people. Have she and her brother Nate been holding her mother back? And when her mother’s old duet partner James Grayson writes that he’s coming to perform nearby, will she be tempted to return to the stage, without them?

Another heartwarming story from Patricia MacLachlan about growing up, and the meaning of home, and family. Rich in friendship, this simplistic story is set in the open prairies of Wyoming. One of the things I enjoyed about this coming of age story is Sylvie's personal search and discovery of what it really means to be home. Home is where your family is at. 

With her cowboy father, and once famous opera singing mother, she wonders how her mother could just give it all up for them, and live on the farm. Having Sylvie's parents, and seeing their love and support of each other was wonderful to see. It was also what really set an example of Sylvie. Though she questioned and wondered if her mother would ever leave them and go back to singing on stage, she saw how happy they were, and how much they loved each other, as well as her, and her younger brother Nate. 

Having Sylvie take over the small town newspaper column for the summer made for the perfect opportunity for readers to get to know those that make up Sylvie's community, as well as explore her small country town. I loved the small Wyoming town setting in this book, and the farm this book is set in. I love this cover.

One of the things this story has a lot of is writing. Sylvie loves to write. I liked that some of her poems are included in this book. This book would be a great example in teaching younger kids about various poems, like the ones featured in this book. This is definitely another great beginning reader for those transitioning from true beginning readers, and picture books. 
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~