Author: MacLachlan, Patricia
On a farm in the middle of the prairie, ten-year-old Sylvie struggles to understand why her mother gave up singing on stage while she sets off on an adventure of her own as the town reporter.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.50
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 191343
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.10
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 71782
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/17)
School Library Journal (07/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/09/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2017 Almost fifth-grader Sylvie Bloom lives on a Nebraska farm with her father, her wise eight-year-old brother, and her mother, who used to be a world-famous opera star. But now Min sings to the chickens and cows, and while she seems in love with her life, Sylvie wonders how can a family be enough when she had fame in her hands? Now one of her mother’s singing partners is in concert nearby, making Sylvie uneasy. But other things are on her mind, too. She’s spending the summer with the sheriff, writing his newsletter, filling it with poetry, and, through the process, discovering herself. Written in MacLachlan’s signature spare style, this is in many ways as much parable as it is contemporary fiction. Girls usually don’t spend their days with middle-aged men (two, in fact), win the town’s affection with haiku, or have seemingly no friends but idyllic families. Yet, MacLachlan’s writing is so immediate that it draws readers in and holds them close. Every page offers something to think about, and when the book is closed, there’s more to ponder. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2017 Gr 3–5—Ten-year-old Sylvie Bloom enjoys an idyllic childhood with her parents and younger brother on their Casper, WY, farm. But a nagging concern that her mother, once an international opera singer, will eventually find their life dull and leave to return to the stage is not relieved by her mother's obvious joy in her present life, as she sings to the livestock and dances spontaneously with her husband. A summer assignment writing the sheriff's newspaper column exposes Sylvie to his wisdom, the goings-on in the town, and the eccentricities of its residents, but she must confront her fears when her mother's former singing partner comes to town for a concert. This short, quiet, lyrical novel moves along swiftly and is sprinkled with Sylvie's touching poetry. Characters are lightly drawn but distinctive and endearing, particularly Sylvie's brother Nate. Along the way, readers will learn a bit about music, community, and family ties. VERDICT A good choice for empathetic young readers and most middle grade shelves.—Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.