Saturday, December 28, 2013

Every Day After by Laura Golden

Lizzie Hawkins has bigger problems to worry about than the school bully, Erin Sawyer. Like the fact that her daddy abandoned the family, her mama is paralyzed with sadness, the bank is about to take their house away, and Lizzie must now be the caregiver to her own mother. Soon, however, Erin's bullying goes beyond the schoolyard and doesn't mince words when she makes it known that she's determined to see Lizzie end up in the orphanage. But Lizzie already lost her daddy; she's not about to lose her mama too, and will do whatever it takes to keep them together.

Every Day After is a beautiful novel that is the very essence of what Laurie Halse Anderson calls resilience fiction. Lizzie is a fighter and is someone who will put you in mind of the great historical fiction characters of Jennifer Holm novels like Turtle from Turtle in Paradise or May Amelia in Our One and Only May Amelia.

While the novel started off a bit slow and I wondered where it was going, I'm so glad I stuck with it. I loved that the end didn't tie up all loose ends but left the readers feeling more than satisfied. I could see this one being a surprise Newbery winner next month. Newbery committees seem to gravitate towards this type of historical fiction novel with the message of resilience. And it just so happens that there's lots of room on the cover for an award sticker. In fact, I personally think it looks kind of bare without one if I do say so myself.

I'm so glad I met Laura at ALA this past summer because if I hadn't, I'm fairly certain that this little gem of a novel would have passed me by. Laura was so sweet and charming and just an all-around wonderful person that I couldn't let the opportunity pass me by to read her debut novel. Based on her ability to write such a fierce, determined female character, I hope she'll be writing many more books in the years to come. 

Every Day After by Laura Golden
Published: June 11, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 224
Genre: Historical Fiction
Audience: Middle Grade
Disclosure: Purchased Copy

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