20 February 2020

Read My Review & *ENTER TO WIN!* Finding Esme by Suzanne Crowley

FINDING ESME
by
SUZANNE CROWLEY
   Genre: Middle Grade (3-7)
Magical Realism / Family & Loss 
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Date of Publication: August 14, 2018
Number of Pages: 288

Scroll down for the giveaway!



After her grandfather died from a heart attack while driving his tractor on Solace Hill, twelve-year-old Esme's been inextricably drawn to that spot, although her grandmother warns her to stay away. But when she follows her little brother, Bo, and her dog, Old Jack, up the hill while chasing fireflies, she makes an incredible discovery—dinosaur bones peeking out from underneath the abandoned tractor. The bones must be a message from her grandfather, a connection from beyond the grave. But when word gets out that the farm is hiding something valuable, reporters, researchers, and neighbors arrive in droves. Esme struggles to understand who has her best interests at heart, especially as the memory of her grandfather begins to slip away. Full of friendship and adventure, and featuring a palpable Texas setting, Finding Esme is a moving and heartfelt story about family, friendship, and learning to deal with loss.
PRAISE & HONORS FOR FINDING ESME:

“Esme is a brave, appealing heroine with the odds stacked against her… Bad blood and layered family secrets drive this story to its ultimately optimistic and satisfying conclusion.” 
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

“Esme McCauley is a lonely but spirited 12-year-old who feels nothing ever happens to her the way it’s supposed to...A poignant tale for readers who enjoy character-driven realism.” 
- School Library Journal 

“Readers muddling through preteen changes or unstable family lives will identify with Esme’s struggles, but the thrill of discovery will appeal to most.” - Booklist
Texas Library Association 2019 Spirit of Texas (SPOT) reading program selection

Well, my goodness, y’all! Here I am, again, with a review that’s sure to knock your socks off!

“How do you know it’ll knock my socks off?” you ask, whilst reading the above sentence.

“Because this book knocked my socks all the way into last month, that’s how, you sassy thang!” I reply, as I continue to type this here review.

Oh, this book … y’all … this book took me all the way back to my childhood in a way that only a well written book can. It all started with the delicious (dust) cover of this hardback book. Yes, I’m here to tell y’all that a book can, indeed, be judged by its cover. The intriguingly artistic cover of FINDING ESME by Suzanne Crowley is as sweet and delicious as a sun ripened peach from Esme’s grandmother’s farm.

And guess what? Ms. Crowley sent me an AUTOGRAPHED copy of this book and a bookmark!

YAASSSSS! GAZE UPON THE SPLENDOR! 



*Le Sigh*

Y’all know I shoot straight from the hip when it comes to books and reviews. I don’t know whether or not it’s the fact that I studied English Literature or the fact that I, myself, am an author (of the best sci-fi books in Texas), but I kinda get a little picky with the books I read, yo!

Just ask Kristine.


Oh, yes, you know of whom I speak … the Lone Star Literary Life Book Siren, herself. She knows just how to lure me in with a gorgeous cover and an intriguing blurb. But I digress.

This book is magical realism at its best. I simply lurved it. I lurved it a whole lots!

What I enjoyed most about FINDING ESME by Suzanne Crowley was the constant tension in her prose. Her writing is sprinkled with a … je ne sais quoi … if you know what I mean. The reader is continually aware that something is off, not quite right. Something is coming, and it may or may not be good.

Only time will tell (once the reader finishes the book, of course!)



FINDING ESME by Suzanne Crowley took me all the way back to the magic of childhood summers before cellphones and computers … before technology distracted kids from the wonders of summer nights, chasing fireflies, the true value of friendship and how ones actions towards peers can affect others deeply.

Long gone are the days of dealing with others face-to-face, making amends in person or by slipping secret gifts of apology where the offended party will find them. Most of today’s kids are conditioned to social media and the ease it brings of forgetting the person on the other side of the screen is a living, breathing human with feelings.

I find this enormously saddening.



Speaking of sadness. Without giving away any spoilers (‘cause y’all keep asking, and y’all know I ain’t gonna!), this book strikes a tender nerve in anyone who’s lived through those angsty pre-teen years. Not only that, but this book deals with actual real world issues such as: depression, absentee parenting (both in person and flat out abandonment), grandparents who must step back into parenting shoes, deep loss, the value of true friends, and knowing when to tune in to one’s intuition.



Oh, this book has it all! Magic. Ghosts. Mystery. Witching Sticks. Pie Made of Sun Ripened Peaches, a faithful ole horned toad (who may or may not really be a ghost), and, of course, a faithful ole dog. It’s a story as sweet as Bee’s honey. As bewitching as a witching stick. As mysterious as a ghost who leads the way to long-buried bones.

But I’ve gone too far here! Y’all’ve almost tricked me into spoilers, y’all sassy thangs!

Look …

Crowley’s writing is honey sweet … her writing voice as mesmerizing as a misty spirit in the night calling to the reader from betwixt the covers of FINDING ESME. I simply could not rest until I finished the book!

And that’s why I grant
FINDING ESME
By Suzanne Crowley
5 Peachy Sweet Magical Brooms!







Suzanne Crowley is the author of two acclaimed novels for young readers, The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous and The Stolen One. The author, who is also a miniaturist and dollhouse collector whose work has graced the covers of magazines worldwide, was born in a small town in Texas and lives in Southlake, Texas. When not hugging her dog or imbibing in chocolate, she can often be found taking a nap.











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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
TWO READERS EACH WIN A SIGNED COPY OF FINDING ESME, TWO CANDLES, BOOKMARKS, FUN FACT CARDS, AND A PEN! February 11-21, 2020
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3 comments:

  1. Your reviews are always so fun and completely different from all others. Thanks for the extra effort. So glad you loved the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! (You sassy book siren, you!) I seriously loved this book!

      Delete
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