Cover Illustration by Victoria Jamieson
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 211 pages, Juvenile Fiction
I have to begin by giving credit to Victoria Jamieson, the cover illustrator. She successfully created a cover that matches the beauty of the story. I chose this book off the shelf without ever hearing about it before simply because the cover is beautiful and intriguing.
We experience the story through Ava's diary. Ava is the younger sister who is naturally more outgoing and confident than her older sister Pip. While Ava expresses that she and Pip don't always get along, we know that she has a deep love for her sister and wants to help her out. With the many stories out there about siblings who are out to hate each other, this is much appreciated.
Ava is charming and fun. Her perspective is unique and engaging. While she is confident and outgoing, throughout this story she has realistic insecurities that she has to learn to deal with. She is real without being snarky, snide, or sarcastic.
I love it when an author takes the opportunity to make the antagonist a situation instead of a person. Instead of creating a good guy VS bad guy situation, Carol Weston shows characters that have conflict because they are all good people who make mistakes. Not only do they suffer through the embarrassment and awkwardness of the mistakes, they learn how to deal with them and move on from them.
The wordplay Weston incorporates throughout the book is icing on the cake. Don't be surprised if you find yourself trying to think of clever palindromes after reading this book.
Parents, this book is a must-read for your daughters going into or just about to go into middle school or junior high. Ava is a role model disguised as a friend. She will empathize with the insecurities they feel. She will show them that embarrassing mistakes are a normal part of growing up. Most importantly, she will encourage your girls to be problem solvers.