New York, NY :
Nancy Paulsen Books
- Physical Description
- 214 pages ; 22 cm
- Main Author
Wavie has spent her first 12 years with her beloved mother in Arpo, Kentucky, sharing a small, tidy trailer. But when Mama dies of cancer and Wavie's next home is uncertain, the brash Samantha Rose, Mama's estranged sister, whisks Wavie away from everything she's ever known to Mama's hometown, the tiny Appalachian Conley (nicknamed Convict) Hollow. With the help of her newfound friends—smart-as-a-whip Camille and cutup Gilbert—Wavie sets out to find a permanent home for herself as the clock ticks down to the state finalizing her future. Anyone who's spent time in the holler will recognize Conley Hollow, from its ramshackle double-wides to the old graveyard to the creek, all depicted with tenderness. Though Camille and Gilbert are fully realized, some members of Wavie's long-lost family are more thinly drawn, particularly cousin Hoyt. Still, there's much to savor: family secrets, budding friendships, and the never-extinguishing love of a mother for her daughter. A touching sophomore effort in which everyone is kin of one sort or another. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.Review by School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 5–8—When her mother passes away from cancer, middle-schooler Wavie B. Conley comes under the care of Samantha Rose, the cruel aunt she's never met. Samantha Rose and Wavie's extended family are crude, verbally abusive slobs, and their run-down Kentucky neighborhood of Conley Holler is the opposite of the quiet life Wavie enjoyed with her mother. Wavie learns that Samantha Rose has taken her in for the sole purpose of frivolously spending Wavie's mother's social security checks. Wavie immediately knows: she can't stay in Conley Holler—known to the locals as Convict Holler—a second longer. With help from her new friends, the rough-and-tumble Gilbert and the super-student Camille, Wavie discovers a secret her mother kept from her…one that might rescue her from Samantha Rose's clutches. This is a masterpiece of middle grade fiction, at once summoning the timelessness of life in rural America while blending in modern elements, such as cell phones, Wal-Mart, and the Internet. Wavie's sincere narration and upbeat optimism carry her through the dark mysteries surrounding Conley Holler, and her close friendships with Gilbert and Camille are reminiscent of the young leads in J.K. Rowling's wizarding novels. Meanwhile, Samantha Rose is a devious villain worthy of a Roald Dahl novel. Though the book's conclusion is both satisfying and hopeful, the genuine nastiness Samantha Rose inflicts upon Wavie along the way may not sit well with more sensitive readers. VERDICT With well-written prose, a masterfully realized world, and characters that linger long after the novel closes, this is a must-purchase for any middle grade library collection.—Matisse Mozer, County of Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.
Upon her mother's death, Wavie Conley, eleven, must go live with a scheming aunt in the Kentucky town her mother left behind.Review by Publisher Summary 2
Sent to live with scheming relatives after the death of her mother, Wavie struggles to follow the list of instructions left by her mother about how to be brave and find her place in the world as part of an effort to secure a home with a loving guardian. Simultaneous eBook.Review by Publisher Summary 3
* "This is a masterpiece of middle grade fiction, at once summoning the timelessness of life in rural America while blending in modern elements."--School Library Journal, starred reviewThe poignant--and funny--story of a girl trying to be brave and find her place in the world after she's sent to live with scheming relatives.Right before Wavie's mother died, she gave Wavie a list of instructions to help her find her way in life, including this one: Be brave, Wavie B! You got as much right to a good life as anybody, so find it! But little did Wavie's mom know that events would conspire to bring Wavie back to Conley Hollow, the Appalachian hometown her mother tried to leave behind. Now Wavie's back in the Holler--and in the clutches of her Aunt Samantha Rose. Life with the devilish Samantha Rose and her revolting cousin Hoyt is no picnic, but there's real pleasure in sleeping in her own mother's old bed, and making friends with the funny, easygoing kids her aunt calls the "neighborhood-no-accounts." With their help, Wavie just might be able to prevent her aunt from becoming her legal guardian, and find her courage and place in the world.