Ten Beautiful Things. Molly Beth Griffin. 2021. [January] 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
First sentence: Lily ran her finger across the Iowa map. An X marked Gram's house on an empty patch of land. Lily's new home.
Premise/plot: On her way to her new home, Lily's grandmother challenges her [encourages her] to try to find TEN beautiful things along the way. At first Lily feels the complaints sitting queasy on her stomach--but soon even she is joining in the game of looking on the bright side and seeing beauty in unexpected places.
My thoughts: LOVELY. That's the first word that comes to mind when I think about this book. Of course, I could just as easily go with BEAUTIFUL. I loved the emotional journey of this one. It is so easy to suppress emotions instead of actually living in them and feeling them, to find other ways of dealing with the pain and discomfort of change [or loss] other than facing them straight on. This book's approach to life is so wonderful. The writing hits me--as an adult reader--right in the heart.
The illustrations were perfectly perfectly perfect.
I loved, loved, love the writing:
On they drove. Almost there. Not far now. When they'd been almost there for a long time, Gram braked, eased the car down a crumbling driveway, and parked in front of the farmhouse. "Here we be," she said, through the drum of the rain. "Home." "But we only made it to nine," Lily said, slumping in her seat. "Nope. Ten, easy." Gram came around with the umbrella, and Lily stepped out of the car. "We're ten," Gram said. Lily sank into her familiar hug. None of this was easy. Maybe it would never be easy. But she belonged with Gram now. She belonged here now. This place wasn't empty, and neither was she.
© 2021 Becky Laney of Young Readers