Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Better to Wish by Ann M. Martin

Better to Wish (Family Tree #1)
by Ann M. Martin
Scholastic Press
ISBN: 978-0-545-35942-9
Suggested Ages: 8-12
Buy from Indigo

Description: In 1930, Abby Nichols is eight, and can't imagine what her future holds. The best things today would be having a dime for the fair, keeping her Pops from being angry, and saving up eighty-seven cents to surprise her little sister with a tea set for Christmas.

But Abby's world is changing fast. Soon there will be new siblings to take care of, a new house to move into, and new friends to meet. But there will also be good-byes to say and hard choices to make. As Abby grows older, how will she decide what sort of life will fit her best?

In this incredible new series, bestselling author Ann M. Martin brings the past and the present together one girlhood at a time and shows readers the way a family grows.



The Good Stuff
  • Very realistic and true to the time period (warning some of it is quite sad and may be hard for the more sensitive reader but it is written beautifully and appropriate for the age level)
  • Abby is a strong willed likeable character that you will cheer for
  • Loved the relationship between Abby and Rose
  • Moral issues are done in a non preachy way which is an impressive feat for middle grade fiction
  • Will encourage readers to learn more about this period of history
  • Liked the slice of life and how the series will go through 4 generations of women.  Reminded me a little of a series by Phillappa Carr that I read when I was a teen. This type of series really appeals to me
  • All of the characters feel very real and act appropriately for this period of time
  • Looking forward to reading the rest of the series
  • Lovely use of humour

The Not So Good Stuff
  • Jumpy at times
  • Father is a misogynistic racist jerk

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Long years later, when Abby was old, very old, she liked to recall this evening. Not because Rose had lost her dime, of course, but because it was pleasant to dwell in this time when losing a dime was the biggest worry she and Rose faced. They hadn't yet learned that it was better not to know what was waiting for them around the corner."

"When we grow up," said Sarah, "we should tell our husbands that we have to live next door to each other so that we can see each other every single day and our children can be best friends, too."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Great book for middle grade girls who are not into the paranormal
  • Some more sensitive middle graders might want to stay away as it deals with darker subject matter like mental issues, racism, death and depression
  • Fans of the babysitter's club will enjoy this series as the writing style is the same and highlights the importance of friendships
4.5 Dewey's

I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review

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