Sunday, December 02, 2018

Love Like Sky

35209679Youngblood, Leslie C. Love Like Sky
November 6th 2018 by Disney-Hyperion
Public library copy

Georgiana (frequently called G-Baby or Georgie) is fairly comfortable with her blended family. They have moved out from the Atlanta metropolitan area to a smaller town, and Georgie gets along well with her stepfather. Her older step-sister, Tangie, is very interesting, but has little time for her new sibling. Georgie, however, is quite nice to her annoying younger sister, Peaches. When the girls return to the city to visit their father and his new wife Millicent (whom they call the Millipede), Peaches becomes very ill. Unfortunately, Georgie has run off to visit her friend Nikki and not told her father where she is going. Eventually, she is found and taken to the hospital, where she learns that Peaches has a case of encephalitis and will have a lengthy recuperation period. Even with her grandmother there to comfort her, Georgie wants desperately to go back home, where she connects for the first time with Tangie. Peaches recovers, and the family is stronger after their ordeal.
Strengths: I was glad to see that all of the parents were still alive-- I think students more often have to deal with different sets of parents and siblings than with dead ones. This has a strong sense of place, with a little bit of dialect, but it's not overly strong. The problems faced with Peaches health scare are realistic, but it's the family dynamics (and the cover) that really sell this one.
Weaknesses: I didn't think that Georgie was mean to Peaches at all, which made her guilt a bit nonsensical. While students won't particularly care, I personally am not a fan of women with names like G-Baby and Peaches. The women in my family don't even have "ie" names so that we sound strong and in charge. (Notable exception: Sylvie, my dog!)
What I really think: The friend drama will make this enticing to middle grade readers, even though the story about the sister being ill makes this one a bit slow. I can see this being a great choice for elementary students interested in "reading up".

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