Today, we're joining Random House Children's Books for blog tour celebrating the latest release from author Wendelin Van Draanen. It's a work of Middle Grade Fiction that deals with some heavy issues giving it much more heft than its light cover would have you believe. I'll tell you this though... you're in for one heck if a story. Ready or not, here comes today's book of choice...
Wren (and her family, for that matter) do not have an easy time of things. There's physical moves, social climbing, and what should have been new beginnings...that just didn't turn out the way they should of. Seeking acceptance outside of herself, Wren falls in with the wrong crowd...and without a solid support system, she's almost lost to them all. It's not that her family wasn't there, it's just that they were being "doing them" until the point of almost no return was reached for our little bird. Good thing they weren't ready to give up on her...and despite the fact she's dragged kicking and screaming into the desert to face goodness only knows what with who knows who, that lack of kid gloves may be just what the doctor ordered. The requirement of depending on herself as well as learning to say "yes, I need help" are just a few of the keys to unlocking her past, understanding her present, and realizing her future.
In the end, it's truly a journey of heart, mind, and soul, that leads to surprising realizations for Wren (and the Grizzly Girls) ... but will also serve to spark necessary conversations in our own here and now. It reminds us that while we are traveling our own paths, we are never truly alone. Great read for Middle Grade fans and beyond for the story itself as well as the messages it brings.
Van Draanen is also the author of two short chapter-book series. The Gecko & Sticky books, are fun read-alouds, perfect for reluctant readers, and the Shredderman books—featuring a boy who deals with a bully—received the Christopher Award for “affirming the highest values of the human spirit” and became a Nickelodeon made-for-TV movie.
Van Draanen was a classroom teacher for fifteen years. She and her husband reside in California and have two sons.