Tuesday, August 02, 2011


A good friend sent me a copy of Karen Day's new middle grade novel, A MILLION MILES FROM BOSTON.  I'm a little late at reading this...It somehow got lost in my to-be-read pile but I am so glad I noticed it last week and moved it to the top of the pile.  LOVED IT!
A MILLION MILES FROM BOSTON is getting great reviews from so many sources. (Jen Robinson, Book Review Club) After reading it, I can see why. This is such a great middle grade novel and I can already think of so many kids who will love it. (My 11 year old will be the first one I hand it to:-)

This is a story about Lucy. Lots of changes are happening for Lucy including moving from elementary school to middle school.  So,  Lucy is looking forward to her summer in Maine where everything is predictable and stable.  But this is the story of a summer where everything is not so predictable.  Her father has a new girlfriend and she is worried about middle school. To make things worse, a boy from her school is also spending the summer in her Maine neighborhood. Throughout the summer,  Lucy continues to deal with the death of her mother that happened 5 years earlier. Change is hard for Lucy and Karen Day captures the complexity of the character well.  Lucy's struggles with grief and change as well as the issues that are common to all kids of this age (growing up, starting middle school, making friends) are all part of this story and done well.

I think this age group is a hard one to write for. Readers in grades 4-6 are readers who want depth and complexity. But authors must do that in a way that makes sense for the worlds 10-12 year olds live in.  This is a book I love because it is a perfect mix for these readers. It is the kind of book I look for when I look for a great read aloud book for grades 4-5. One that is engaging for boys and girls in this age group and books that give us enough to talk and think about, especially around character and theme.

I read this book on the plane to Boston for #BLC11.  I loved the book from the beginning but, I knew this was a great book when I realized I had missed the plane's landing because I was almost at the end of the book and so engaged that I wasn't paying attention to the flight.  For those of you who know me, I am not a great flyer to begin and this is a big deal. I am worst when taking off and landing. I am very attentive during these times and I have never had a book that pulled me in in a way that made me miss the landing!

This is definitely a book you don't want to miss. It is very realistic story about a character who will stay with me for a very long time.  I can't wait to see what Karen Day writes next!


  1. I read this book at the beginning of summer and loved it!! It would be a perfect read aloud and book club book too.

  2. I agree! I love this one, too. I am still waiting for my ten year old to pick it up, though. She is a big reader, but likes to pick her own books - sigh.


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