About the book:
Brave the sour to taste the sweet.
Morgan is devastated by her mother’s sudden death. Before, Mom’s amazing organizational skills kept the family on track, and her bowl of lemon drops was always on hand to make difficult conversations easy, turning life’s sour into sweet. After, there’s no one to help Morgan navigate her new role caring for her younger siblings, her worries about starting junior high, and her increasingly confusing friendships. All she can do is try to fulfill her mother’s final request: Keep them safe, Morgan. Be brave for them. Help them be happy.
When Dad insists on taking the family on their regular summer camping trip, and Morgan’s efforts to keep her promise to Mom seem doomed to fail, Morgan’s anxiety spirals into a panic attack, and Dad treats her like she’s impossibly broken. Unable to share her fears and needs with Dad, and desperate to prove she’s got the strength to hold the family together, Morgan sets off alone to hike a flooding canyon trail. But somewhere on that lonely and dangerous journey, Morgan will encounter the truth about the final words her mother left her, the power in finding her own voice, and the possibility of new beginnings.
I’m always a little nervous when it comes to books about kids having to be the grownup when a parent passes, but this one hit all the right spots. At times beautiful and at times just sad, Lemon Drop Falls would be a great resource for kids dealing with grief without it feeling overly preachy or prescribed. Morgan is a relatable protagonist, and you totally understand why she has to run away to find herself. The book is careful to walk that line and not making running away sound like a good thing, but also explains why Morgan feels like it’s the choice she had to make.
As a middle-grade book, the content is age-appropriate and should help kids have a way to talk about hard things in their lives.
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
About the Author:
Heather Clark grew up near the Rocky Mountains of Canada, then followed the mountain range south, to her current home in Utah, where she lives with her husband and three children who inspire the books she writes. Heather’s work as a writer, photographer, and teacher helps her see the beauty and unique value in every person. After dealing with her own childhood anxiety and OCD, Heather is passionate about representing neurodiverse children powerfully in fiction. When she’s not working, you can find Heather camping, hiking, boardgaming, or reading and celebrating books at MGBookParty.com. You can learn more about Heather and her books at HeatherClarkBooks.com. LEMON DROP FALLS is her debut novel.
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