Reviews & Features

Just Claire

Purchase your copy of Just Claire from Amazon

Amazon Reviews for Just Claire

Five Stars: A Sweet, Moving Story for Middle Grade Readers ~January 7, 2016 by Susanne Lakin

This is such a lovely Middle Grade book. Claire is struggling with so many issues. Her mother has just given birth and she’s not able to deal with motherhood. Claire, a big sister to younger brothers, is thrust into a new town, new school, and new responsibilities that put a heavy weight on her shoulders.

READ MORE HERE

****************************************

Five Stars: Best Book of the Year so far ~ January 9, 2016 by Plain Servant

I used to love to read JeanAnn Williams’ articles she wrote for Listen Magazine and Winner Magazine. She writes about old school issues that are often ignored by modern day writers, who seem to follow the flow of what’s selling the fastest. JeanAnn has a way of rekindling the spark of everyday life, which allows her to write about very important issues, and a way of keeping her readers mystified as to what happens next.

READ MORE HERE

*****************************************

Five Stars: Floored ~ January 9, 2016 by Amazon Customer

As we have all been this girl in some way or other, it’s such a delicate way to help your own children through these experiences by sharing this book. It’s moving, it’s real, it’s written in such a way that you can’t help but connect this girl to your own life.

READ MORE HERE

********************************

Five Stars: Inspirational! ~ January 10, 2016 by Crystal Hatter

This is one of my favorite books of all time! It’s real. It takes you back to a simpler time with all the same issues of today’s teenage girl. One of my favorite things about this book is that the average teenage girl can read it and realize that life really could be much harder.

READ MORE HERE

*************************************

Five Stars: A wonderful book that will inspire many young women~January 13, 2016 by Melanie Kime The message of integrity, faith, loyalty, perseverance and love that shines through it is a timely one.

READ MORE HERE

*************************************

Five Stars: Beautifully written story~January 15, 2016 by R. Redding Simply thrilled to read this book! Beautifully written story! I love that the author shared an issue so many deal with but few write about.

**************************************

Five Stars: Power of Love over Mental Illness~January 16, 2016 by Dawn Baertlein Just Claire tells the story of 13-year-old ClaireLee, beginning the night her life changes in more ways than anyone should have to face at once. On the first night in their tiny cabin on the shores of the Rushing River her mother goes into a long and painful labor.

READ MORE HERE

*****************************************

Five Stars: ClaireLee must grow up more quickly than she’d like. ~ January 20, 2016 by Terry Pierce

When things go wrong for 13-year old Claire Lee Monteiro’s mother during childbirth, Claire Lee must grow up more quickly than she’d like. She faces the struggles of being thrust into the role of caregiver of her four younger siblings while coping with her mother’s post-birth mental breakdown –

READ MORE HERE

****************************************

Five Stars: Excellent Read!!! ~ January 24, 2016 by Cori Larsen

Well written book about a young girl trying to grow up and understand mental illness within her family. As I was reading I felt as though I was struggling along with her. I couldn’t put the book down until the end. This is a great book for young adults (middle school) to help today’s generation look to God for guidance and support.

**************************************

Five Stars: A great unexpected good read ~ January 26, 2016 by Dvora Elisheva

Although billed as a children’s book, the story gripped me. The story has a slow start but then you get totally gripped with ClaireLees’s world and from that point the book is just plain hard to put down. There is a natural spirituality that reminds me of my childhood. This book is definitely worth reading.

******************************************

Five Stars: Touching and meaningful story for middle grade girls ~ February 1, 2016 by Kat Lauterback

This is a sweet story of faith and the power of love. Claire is a young girl dealing with moving to a new town and a new school. Then her mother becomes Ill and unable to care for the family. This story will be especially meaningful to middle school girls who are facing similar family problems or helping a friend.

READ MORE HERE

********************************************

Five Stars: Author Jaclyn E. Brod Review!~February 1, 2016 by Loversembrace I got the book within one day, and I read it within one day. I’m not a huge fan of middle school books but this really captivated me. Jean Ann Williams is a fantastic author and I look forward to reading more of her stories. This is truly well written and with each word i imagined every part of it in my head as if it were a movie. This is truly a great book to read either to your children or let your children read it themselves! excellent job Jean Ann Williams! You did an amazing job!

Four Stars: Coming of Age~February 3, 2016 by Darby Karchut 4.5 Stars.
A sweet and poignant story about a young girl coming of age and learning that true strength can be found in unlikely places. This will appeal to young teens who have to deal with difficult family issues. And I must say, the author’s “voice” was spot on – I read this in one sitting and just finished it! This is an author I’ll be following. 4.5 stars.

Five Stars: I think everyone can relate to Claire at some point in their life!~February 7, 2016 by Candace Lopez I felt the book was very spiritual and very down to earth. Claire was a young girl that had some very difficult experiences in her young life. She left her home for a new life with her family. Williams writing style is brilliant and keeps you enticed at every page. It is a wonderful read for people of all ages, but even more so for young adults. Williams characters grow in a fashion that everyone can relate to. I quickly fell in love with the book and can’t wait to read more of Jean Ann Williams’ books!

Five Stars: A Great Coming-of-Age Story!~February 14, 2016 by Kathi Macias What a lovely and poignant coming-of-age story! Every young lady should have a chance to read this as she crosses into womanhood. Such an inspiration!

Five Stars: Just Claire could be a true tale!~February 16, 2016 by Dezz From a poor family, scrappy Claire is a strong oldest daughter trying to take care of her younger siblings as her mother falls ill and father has to work. Set in the not-too-distant past, the narrative gives an accurate description of what it’s like not to have what we take for granted. As Claire goes to school amid dire hardships, defending her family and trying to make new friends in a new town, her courage and love are evident.

Five Stars: So well written~February 21, 2016 by Lauren This is the story of a young girl entering her teen years with too many responsibilities and unsettling change. The author quickly took me to the center of this thirteen-year-old girl’s world and I was caught as if a close onlooker. Moving to a new town, there is the difficulty of finding new friends, learning who she can trust, and standing up to bullying. The mother’s postnatal depression is far too confusing for ClaireLee, yet it falls heavily on her shoulders to sort out as best she can while trying to be strong for her younger siblings. Let ClaireLee’s story instruct you from the inner circle of pain and anxiety of a thirteen-year-old girl. This book will help you understand how tough life can be for children feeling displaced with a family’s relocation, it will help you see the life of girls this age, from the inside out, and it will teach you about postnatal depression and its affect on families. It ends on a happy note, so don’t be discouraged–just educated. The author is a masterful story teller in my opinion. So much of the story takes place in school that I highly recommend it to teachers, and of course, to the parents and grandparents of girls this age.

Five Stars: February 21, 2016 by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite
Just Claire by Jean Ann Williams is a wonderful coming of age tale. Claire Lee and her siblings are uprooted and moved when her father has to go to work in a different place. Just as they move into their new house, their mother goes into labor and, following the birth, is whisked off to hospital by their father. Left alone, it is up to Claire to look after the younger children and so she takes on the role of her mother. When her mother returns home, it is clear that she is not well and shows little interest in her family, leaving Claire to pick up the pieces. Desperate to feel like she belongs, she sets out to try to get into a rich girl’s club, even if it means appearing to shun her new but poor friend. One night, it all comes to a head in public and life is about to be shaken up for Claire once again.

Just Claire by Jean Ann Williams is a wonderful story, one that I simply couldn’t put down. The story is incredibly well written, touching on so many different issues – depression, motherhood, bullying, and so much more besides. Each one is dealt with in the right way, in a style of writing that makes it easy to understand. Ms. Williams has the craft of writing down to a fine art, knowing exactly how to draw a reader in and hold them there. It was such a lovely story and I found myself rooting for Claire all the way through, and her mother. The characters are very well developed and are written true to life in a way that allows the reader to get to know them very well. I believe that there are many readers who will be able to identify in some way with at least one character in the book. Excellent story, and I’m looking forward to more from Ms. Williams.

Five Stars: Just Claire; a great book!~February 22, 2016 by Amazon Customer Just Claire is an amazing book. I found it to be well written, interesting and very believable for the genre of realistic fiction. The characters were so typical for that age group; I personally could identify with them. Having taught school for over 40 years, I would love to see this type of fiction in more school/public libraries. I appreciated the values exemplified by the heroin and her loyalty to family and friends. Claire, for her young age, exhibited maturation and self control despite opposition and mounting temptations. She is candid in her struggles, decisions and challenges. I would recommend this book to any age; especially the teenager trying to find a balance between her peer group and more important priorities, such as family and established friendships.

Four Stars: Claire wants to be liked, but loyalty and home mean something more to . . .~February 22, 2016 by Diane Huff Pitts Jean Ann Williams will never write superficially because she has plunged the depths of personal tragedy and come up with a treasure trove of insight. “Just Claire” gives the reader a unfolding look into post partal depression and the effect on families.
This coming-of-age book from the eyes and heart of a middle schooler pulls your heartstrings. Claire wants to be liked, but loyalty and home mean something more to her. Those values keep her afloat during a difficult time in her family’s life.
Jean’s writing has a steady rhythm. If you’re tired of books that leave you saying,”Couldn’t happen,” I can assure you, this book isn’t one of them.
Enjoy!

Three Stars: I was amazed by Claire’s strength to take on the role of . . .~February 23, 2016 by Thrilled Just Claire is a unique read in that it offers a thirteen year old protagonist who bears the burden of her mom’s depression. This is a difficult situation and I constantly felt the girl’s inner turmoil over the way-too-high expectations both her parents placed on her. I was amazed by Claire’s strength to take on the role of caring for her four younger siblings. I did find myself distracted by some of Claire’s behavior: at the beginning she sounded much like an eight year old, but then later she says things like an adult would, saying she will take care of the “kids” instead of referring to them as siblings. Her seven-year old brother at times sounded like an adult when he calls the other siblings “kids” too.

I found myself confused by the era and it isn’t until about a third of the way in that the reader learns it’s the 1960’s–I thought this should have been clearer much earlier. Another blurry point is Claire’s small stature, for which she is teased, but I didn’t understand how she felt about being 13 in sixth grade or why being in the Lavender Girls was so important to her, even though the girls were so rude to her and her friends. I felt like these points needed a lot more “Claireifying”:). I was also confused when Claire is trying to convince the girls at school she’s not poor, for clearly she is. What really threw me was Claire’s mom Dotty’s very mean behavior toward Claire and how the Dad said Dotty had “been emotional for years”. If so, how could Claire have never seen that before? This was the first time she felt hurt by her mother, so that fact contradicts a lot.

I also couldn’t understand why the dad wasn’t protecting Claire from this and why he was placing so much responsibility on her. I felt like the author expected us to just understand these things, but there were gaps that needed explaining. Outside of these issues, Williams’s strength lies within the dialogue. I was amazed by how steady the pacing was too. She does a great job building tension between Claire and the girls at school and she uses precision to create believable conversations. The rural setting works well here too because it punctuates the impoverished living conditions and declares Claire’s inner struggle. I also found delight in how Williams’s style resonates a bit with V.C.Andrews, specifically her novel, Heaven, where the character is forced into an unpleasant situation and faces mistreatment by others while still maintaining hope.

Four Stars: A relatable coming-of-age novel~March 3, 2016 by JBJNYG Thirteen-year-old ClaireLee Monteiro is left to care for her siblings after their mom gives birth and is rushed to the hospital. They are new in town, and Claire just wants to fit in at school, particularly with the popular girls (the “Lavender Girls Club”). Her new friend Belinda Cruz is poor and unpopular but loyal. When Mama returns home, it is clear to Claire that she is not the same person. Claire must take on additional, and new, responsibilities, though she just longs to be a kid. Will Mama ever be the same again? Will Claire choose popularity over true friendship?

This is a middle grade, clean reads, coming-of-age book which takes place in California in the 1960s. Williams writes in an easy, relatable style. Claire’s inner struggles, particularly with high expectations from her parents, will be relatable to many. Strong dialogue and steady pacing combine to make this book a great one for mothers and daughters to read together. Some difficult issues, such as postpartum depression, are skillfully handled. Claire is a strong character and has learned early on to look to God for her strength and support, which is encouraging to see in a character.

Five Stars: Just Claire is a touching, poignant story for middle grade readers~March 7, 2016 by Ruby for Women Just Claire by author Jean Ann Williams is a touching, poignant story of a young girl facing life’s challenges, feeling alone and vulnerable.

Caring for her family during her mother’s illness, ClaireLee attempts to face her fears and insecurities by becoming one of the “popular” girls in her school.

The journey ClaireLee takes to be part of the Lavender Girls Club leads her to become someone she really does not want to be, and she is confronted with difficult choices.

More than anything, ClaireLee just wants her mother to get well, and she wants her life back to normal. And she discovers that trying to become part of the “popular” girls group is not at all what she thought it would be.

Facing the reality of losing her friend Belinda who wants nothing to do with the Lavender Girls Club, ClaireLee must decide who she is and how she will confront the other challenges in her life.

Eventually she realizes that she must be honest with herself and others, and this enables her to be brave in the midst of a crisis.

Just Claire is a sweet story that will help middle grade readers recognize that they are not alone as they struggle with challenges in life. Jean Ann Williams is a storyteller who captures not only the imagination, but draws the reader into the life of her characters.

Just Claire reflects the heart of the author, and it will touch the heart of readers everywhere. For families who long to share life truths with their children, Just Claire is a beautiful, thoughtful, and inspiring book.

Jean Ann Williams is an author and blogger, and she is a frequent contributor to the Ruby for Women magazine. You can connect with Jean Ann on her blog.

Four Stars: I immediately loved the voice of Claire~April 17, 2016 by Cynthia T. I immediately loved ClaireLee, a.k.a. Claire Bear and Sissy Pie, who would prefer just Claire. Because of her father’s job, she is uprooted from her home in Oregon and torn from the loving support of her grandmother at the worst possible time—right before her mother gives birth to a fifth child. In 1960 rural northern California, Claire must become mother to her siblings at the same time she is trying to find the acceptance and caring she desperately needs. Ms. Williams writes an endearing voice for Claire and uses creative descriptions that fit the character and the rural setting. If you are looking for a YA novel filled with typical teen situations, young romance, or nail-biting suspense, this is not the book for you. But for a book that demonstrates to today’s teens how strong, loving, and devoted to family a 13-year-old of faith can be, I recommend Just Claire.

Five Stars: Just Claire, April 20~2016 by Steve Hutman A elementary girl showing positive thinking in the best way she could during the worse family affair, is a good book from back in those days.

Five Stars: I tremendously enjoyed this story~April 22, 2016 by Debra Daugherty I tremendously enjoyed this story. The main character, Claire, and the setting both drew me in, and after reading one chapter, I had to keep reading until I finished the book. Great MG story!

Five Stars:  April 23, 2016~by Amazon Customer I thought it was a wonderful story of a child made to grow up in an adult world.

Three Stars: April 24, 2016 by Barb This coming-of-age novel for tweens and up focuses on Claire, the oldest in a large family that has just relocated due to a job change for their father. They live in a cabin in a lumber camp in a Western state. The move brings on labor for Claire’s mother, and Claire is left caring for several siblings when her mother experiences birth complications and postpartum depression. 13-year-old Claire tries to fit in at school but is caught between the Mean Girls and Belinda, a true friend who is bullied by her peers and whose family situation is worse than Claire’s.

Five Stars: April 26, 2016 by Debra M. Daughterty This is a wonderful coming of age story for Middle Grade readers. Claire must grow up fast when her mother becomes ill after childbirth. Her brothers and sisters need her. Claire’s problems with starting a new school, making friends, and trying to fit in, are something young girls, especially, will relate to.

Five Stars: Beautiful and impressive~May 6, 2016 by Suze Lavender ClaireLee’s mother is pregnant and the baby is coming when they’ve just moved into their new temporary home. Things don’t go according to plan and ClaireLee is now responsible for taking care of her brothers and sister and doing all the household chores. She also has to start at a new school where she doesn’t know anybody. She could use a friend and some good company which will make her forget about her daily life for a while. Only making friends is more difficult than she thought.

ClaireLee struggles with life at home and she’s worried about her depressed mother. She tries to be there for everyone else, but what about her? At school there’s a group of popular girls and ClaireLee wants them to accept her. Her only other friend, Belinda, doesn’t like them though, but ClaireLee would love to be one of them. ClaireLee does her best to pretend everything is fine at home and at school, until one night there’s no way she can hide the truth any longer…

Just Claire is a beautiful story. ClaireLee struggles with everything she has to do each day to help her parents. She also has her own problems, the situation at school isn’t the easiest and sometimes she feels like she can’t take any more. However, love, friendship and prayers are helping her to get through the hardest times. She’s strong and resilient and there’s much personal growth. It was amazing to see her become who she’s supposed to be. I constantly had tears in my eyes while I was reading this story, it’s both emotional and inspirational.

Just Claire is a story that will stay with me for a very long time. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. I love Jean Ann William’s detailed descriptions of both the setting and the time. The book is set in the 1960s and the writing suits it brilliantly. Jean Ann Williams has written a fantastic, moving story about what it’s like when everything that makes you happy suddenly disappears and changes into a situation you don’t think you can handle. In ClaireLee’s case there’s no choice, she has to make things work. This book will bring strength to everyone who’s in the same situation and awareness of how there can be big secrets behind the closed doors of everyone around you. Just Claire is a must-read, both for younger and grown up readers. It’s a true gem and I can’t praise it enough.

Five Stars: A Trip Down Memory Lane~May 13, 2016 by Becky White When I began reading this story, I thought it was for children. It was like a whirlwind dance down memory lane. I had completely forgotten what it was like to be 13 back in the fifties. Peer pressures, the need to fit in, and the drive to find a best-and-forever friend, were as much a struggle for Claire as taking care of four tiny siblings. As an adult caregiver, I shared Claire’s agony wanting Mama to be well and sane again. What this heroine bears upon her small shoulders is a burden the readers will never forget. I guarantee that you will laugh and you will cry when you go to the little cabin on the river and spend time with Claire Bear.

Five Stars: Wonderful Nostalgic Tale Set in the Big Bend, CA Area in the 1950’s era~May 21, 2016 by Keleen Wright Wonderful nostalgic tale set in the Big Bend, CA area in the 1950’s era. I enjoyed this book so much that I asked the author where it was located because it sounds like a beautiful place to go visit. In this story we get to watch Claire develop into a strong young lady, face and overcome some very difficult family and school situations. No spoilers here, but I am anxiously awaiting the next book so that I can see what happens next! A great read!

 Five Stars: Realistic Coming-of-Age~May 23, 2016 by lilacqueen75 (4.5 Stars) ClaireLee is thirteen years old and after a quick move to a new state for her father’s new job and a traumatic birth of her baby brother, her world turns upside down. Her mother isn’t the same and it’s up to Claire to care for her younger siblings, run the household, keep her family together, go to school, and try and fit in with the Lavender girls and the locals. Being thirteen isn’t easy, as.

I really enjoyed the way Claire is portrayed as a girl beyond her years in maturity, yet still possesses those childish impulses. Her coming-of-age is endearing and the lessons learned are mighty. Claire is very likable and it’s easy to root for her along her path. I loved watching her gradually trusting those around her and found myself pitying her for her situation at times, especially when her parents with either too busy or too ignorant to do anything to ease her burdens. Her friendships were the heart of the story. Belinda reminded me of Peppermint Patty, from The Peanuts, as she’s very brash, loud, and blunt, but is loyal to the core.

The flow of the story and the way the setting and characters are depicted felt very true to life in a small, transient, Northern California town in the 1960’s. The pacing is gentle and realistic and I enjoyed every page.

Content: the characters are religious and often utter phrases from hymns or snippets of prayers; no language or romance; mild violent elements–not graphic, but some descriptions of blood and childbirth. Clean.

*I received a copy through Singing Librarian Tours in exchange for an honest review*

Five Stars: Katie W~May 23, 2016 (4.5 Stars) ClaireLee is thirteen years old and after a quick move to a new state for her father’s new job and a traumatic birth of her baby brother, her world turns upside down. Her mother isn’t the same and it’s up to Claire to care for her younger siblings, run the household, keep her family together, go to school, and try and fit in with the Lavender girls and the locals. Being thirteen isn’t easy, as.

I really enjoyed the way Claire is portrayed as a girl beyond her years in maturity, yet still possesses those childish impulses. Her coming-of-age is endearing and the lessons learned are mighty. Claire is very likable and it’s easy to root for her along her path. I loved watching her gradually trusting those around her and found myself pitying her for her situation at times, especially when her parents with either too busy or too ignorant to do anything to ease her burdens. Her friendships were the heart of the story. Belinda reminded me of Peppermint Patty, from The Peanuts, as she’s very brash, loud, and blunt, but is loyal to the core.

The flow of the story and the way the setting and characters are depicted felt very true to life in a small, transient, Northern California town in the 1960’s. The pacing is gentle and realistic and I enjoyed every page.

Content: the characters are religious and often utter phrases from hymns or snippets of prayers; no language or romance; mild violent elements–not graphic, but some descriptions of blood and childbirth. Clean.

*I received a copy through Singing Librarian Tours in exchange for an honest review*

Four Stars: Tween Coming of Age Story~May 23, 2016 by LisaF-Bookworm Lisa Claire is 13. She has just moved from her home in Oregon when her mother gives birth to child #5. The labor is hard and her mother and infant brother are rushed to the hospital. This even sends her world into chaos. She becomes the mother figure and has to take care of her younger siblings and home.

Claire just wants to belong. She wants friends. She wants acknowledgement. She wants her mother to come out of the haze that she has been living in. She tries to keep her family together. A position that a 13 year old girl should not be in.

This story is a coming of age story. Claire learns many lessons and grows during the time period of the story. The lessons of friendship, fitting in, telling the truth, and the responsibilities of all of them change her life for the better. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions.

Five Stars: May 27, 2016 by Julie Wilson Just Claire by Jean Ann Williams is a Christian YA novel set in 1960. I am considerably older than the target market but I really enjoyed it.
Just Claire is written in the third person from the point of view of thirteen year old ClaireLee. She is the oldest of five siblings who have just moved to a new area as her father has work building a tunnel.
ClaireLee finds that her life has changed. All that was familiar is gone. The children start a new school. ClaireLee finds it hard to fit in. She longs to be part of the Lavender group but her friendship with Belinda makes this unlikely. Jean Ann Williams explores the complications of friendship for teenage girls. The highs and lows. The hurts and disappointments. And the bonds that form.
Within Just Claire there is the subject of post natal depression. ClaireLee’s mother nearly lost her life delivering baby Feathers. She returns from hospital a changed Mama. Everything falls on ClaireLee’s shoulders as the eldest. The reader really admires how ClaireLee rises to the challenges. At times it gets her down but ClaireLee is the big sister we would all love to have.
There is a beautiful bond between ClaireLee and her three year old sister Lolly. Jean Ann Williams has managed to capture the essence of sisterhood delightfully.
The bond of family is visible in the novel. Mama is usually the one holding the family together but ClaireLee admirably steps into her shoes.
ClaireLee is teetering on the brink of adulthood. Jean Ann Williams draws her excellently showing her independence of spirit which contrasts with the vulnerability of youth. ClaireLee copes most of the time but there are moments when she just wants her old Mama back.
Just Claire was a wonderful novel. It evoked memories of a time when life was simpler. It reminded me of a more up to date version of Little House on the Prairie even before it was mentioned that ClairLee was reading it!
A delightful novel which anyone will enjoy, whatever your age.
I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.
Five Stars: Great Read for a Pre-teen~May 30, 2016 by Andrea N. Tooley This is a great read for a pre-teen, the character has to deal with a lot of changes and go through many obstacles. Highly recommend this book. Can’t to read another book by this author.

Three Stars: A Very Hard Book about a Really Sweet Girl who Really Deserved a Nicer Life~May 31, 2016 by N. N. Light Just Claire…or just the Book of Job for young adults 🙂 First let me say, the touching acknowledgement brought tears to my eyes and I offer my sincere condolences to the author for the loss of her son.

The book was not an easy read. Let me say also the book was very well written and really puts the reader in the time and place clearly. The style is one that draws in the reader and makes him/her feel for ClaireLee. I loved the character ClaireLee and only wanted her to find some happiness. Lolly is probably my fave character; Lolly really saw the world through the eyes of an innocent 3-year-old and it was incredibly well done.

Now the suffering and trauma that ClaireLee suffered seemed never-ending and with her plaintive prayers to the Lord for help it really reminded me of the Book of Job. How much did ClaireLee have to suffer? Almost every positive thing that came about for her was immediately followed with a terrible negative that destroyed the positive.

The bully Kaye was a horrible, hateful, evil character. If a parent knows of a horrible sub-human who is bullying in their social circle, then this book is key to read to children to let them understand how evil and vicious and low-character bullies are. I would have thought a positive end for Kaye would have been her struck dead by a truck… alas, that only happened in my mind.

If you wish for your young adult to understand life is made up of challenges and you must just keep battling, then this is a good book. A very hard book about a really sweet girl who really deserved a nicer life.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Four Stars: Great Coming-of-age Story!~June 29, 2016 by Melanie It’s 1960 and ClaireLee’s family has recently moved from Oregon to the wilderness of Gallagher Springs in Northern California. Her mother has just given birth but both she and the baby need to be taken to the hospital. Thirteen-year-old Claire is left alone with her brothers and sisters and quickly becomes the one in charge. She needs to physically take care of them, and get them to school. She’s ready to make friends and gets caught in the middle of feuding girls. She likes most of the girls involved and tries to bring them all together.

I liked Claire and there were times that I felt bad for the situation she found herself in. Her parents were a bit frustrating to me, especially when it took so long for her to find out what happened to her mother. When her mother came home, her behavior was confusing to Claire and she had to adjust to the new family dynamic. She stepped in when her family needed help, yet there were times she just wanted to escape and be a teenage girl.

Claire also had to figure out her friendships. She so badly wanted to be part of the Lavender Girls and was fascinated with the city girls and their lifestyle. There was one main reason not to join them, though. She had a big heart and wanted everyone to be accepted. This is a good coming-of-age middle-grade story that will also appeal to adults. I enjoyed getting to know Claire and look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save