*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Monday, January 6, 2014

"Belle Teal" by Ann M. Martin

Once again, here is another great book from Ann M. Martin (don't worry, I think I have finally re-read the last of her books I'm planning to read for awhile, so I'll stop fan-girl mode now). Belle Teal is the story of girl growing up during a difficult time but she still manages to find the good things in life. Belle Teal is about to start a new school year and she is very excited to finally has Miss Casey as her teacher. But things won't be easy as starting this year, children of all races will be attending school together and this causes a lot of problems for Belle Teal and her friendships, but new and old. In addition, her beloved Gran is getting older and not remembering much causing more hardships as Belle Teal's world begins to change.

Once again, Martin address issues that aren't always discussed in children's books. I can't really think of another book that deals with what is like when a grandparent or other loved one begins to slip away mentally (as someone that has personally gone through this, it's a topic that I think is very important to address). Though this really isn't the primary focus of the book, it is the one detail that has always stuck with me. I do wish that more books talked about it. In addition to the changes going on in Belle Teal's household, I'm glad that this book also touches on the history of the integration that took place in schools. As a kid, that was a topic that I had difficulty wrapping my head around, so it was good to be able to read about from the perspective of someone going through that experience. Once again, this is a must read, both for the historical elements, but for the family moments as well.

Happy Reading!

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