Wednesday, July 1, 2020
73. My Thoughts Exactly: By Darcy Diggins Middle School BioSpychologist
First sentence: The ever-zesty Ms. Earlene can charm fleas off a dog, about that I am not kidding. My grandmother is magnetic, only not scientific. Most folks from town have had firsthand experiences with Ms. Earlene’s gift of influence, and while I am by far her number one fan, I was determined not to listen to her advice to go public with the Dewbabies.
Premise/plot: Darcy and her grandma, Ms. Earlene, narrate this lovely middle grade novel. This one has some fantasy elements in it, namely the Dewbabies. When someone does a kind deed, a dewbaby is born in the rain forest. Dewbabies are tiny people. (Think of how fairies are born: a baby's first laugh.) When their community is threatened due to new construction in the rain forest, the dewbabies hitch a ride in a human suitcase and find themselves at Darcy's house. Darcy and her grandma are determined to protect the dewbabies.
The plot is a bit farfetched and fanciful at times, but overall this one has a sweet feel to it.
My thoughts: I liked this one. I didn't really, really, really like it. I certainly didn't love it passionately. But I found it an interesting enough read. I especially liked that the book focuses on Darcy AND her grandma. It isn't just that this one celebrates this relationship, but the book actually gives her a voice and a good bit of the story focus. I also liked the casualness of the family's belief in God and the Christian faith. It was never a plot point--just a background detail that readers will either pick up on or miss completely. I find it a rare detail so when I do notice it, I like to point it out.
What didn't quite work for me (now that I've pointed out two positives) was the timing. I never really got a great grasp on the flow of time. That plus I struggled to suspend my disbelief--not about the dewbabies, which oddly enough I was okay with--but with the idea that a school would okay a class field trip to the RAIN FOREST, the parents would be okay with sending their children on a trip this far away, and if I read the novel correctly, the field trip was supposed to be during Christmas vacation?! Perhaps I misread the timing of it, but still. What community could they live in where there would be enough fundraising and such to pay for a trip to the rain forest?
© 2020 Becky Laney of Young Readers