Sunday, July 5, 2015

Book Review: Dicey's Song

This was a book I had heard of but failed to read yet. Dicey's Song is a familiar title in children's literature, having won a Newbery Award. I wasn't aware that it is the second in a series of four books. The story unfolds in a very slow, meandering manner (or perhaps that was just the way the narrator presented it in the audio form). It was sweet and tender, but also a bit sad.

Here's the description from the back cover:

"It took 13-year-old Dicey Tillerman all summer to get herself and her three younger siblings to their grandmother's run-down farm on the Chesapeake Bay. Now the four of them face the difficult challenges of fitting into a frightening new world, one where once again, they are outsiders. Gram told Dicey to just hold on, to do all that she could to keep the family together. The trouble is, Dicey has only two hands, and quite a few problems of her own. Growing up, she discovers, is more than just holding on to what is important; it is learning how to let go."

The story brought me to tears a few times. Although I enjoyed it, I probably wouldn't rank it as one of my favorites for the year. It would be a good book to suggest to a child who is having difficulty with new circumstances or with family troubles. I don't think I enjoyed it enough to seek out the rest of the series, although if our library had another one in audio form, it might bump it up for consideration since I'm always looking for more books to listen to while I do my daily walk.

I will say that I like the cover posted at the top of this post far better than this one (to the left) on the cover of the library's audio version. I couldn't tell if the child on this cover is a boy or a girl. Perhaps that was intentional, but I think the first cover conveys more emotional pull than this particular one does. The downcast face also expresses more of the internal angst of the main character. Just a better cover, in my humble opinion.

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