Saturday, August 1, 2015

Book Review: Honey by Sarah Weeks

Melody's mother died when she was born and no one really talks about her. Melody's father is nice, though. He's a high school teacher who is always teaching Melody new words and playing fun games with logic and grammar. One weekend, he goes away camping with his winning debate team, leaving Melody with her grandfather, and Melody finds out from Teeny, the snoopy kid next door, that "Henry has caught the love bug." Henry is her father. Melody's best friend Nick does some quick research and finds out he's the only Henry in their small town of Royal, Indiana. Melody and Nick head off to the new beauty salon, where Teeny overheard the gossip, to clear things up. Melody will learn a lot more than she bargained for.

This sweet story also has a few chapters told from the point of view of a dog, who readers quickly realize was owned by Melody's parents when she was born, but given away to the beauty-salon owner. While those chapters aren't as effective (and I felt the dog's prophetic dreams were very forced), most ten-year-old girls will love them. The book naturally has a happy ending, with strong lessons learned all around, most especially about telling the truth, even if it's hard, and even if it seems protective not to. It's interesting that aside from the very girly-girl of annoying, younger Teeny, Melody is completely surrounded by males: her father, grandfather, and Nick. She is tomboyish although that isn't dwelled on. Everyone is well-intentioned, and while the red herring that Melody misinterprets is pretty coincidental and has a contrived feeling, I doubt most kids this age would pick up on that. (And coincidences do happen.) As it does deal with Melody's mother's death, it's for the more mature middle readers, but her death happened long ago and isn't immediately present for any of them, although it's not something they blithely skip over. It is handled with respect but with a light touch that shouldn't impact young readers too heavily.

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.

I got this book for free from the publisher at Winter Institute 10.

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