We Walked the Sky

Razorbill/Penguin/. Jul. 2019. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780451480804.
Gr 7 Up–Calliope VanDrexel is a 16-year-old circus performer who loves her grandmother Victoria and the tightrope that allows her to walk the sky. Her days as an aerialist come to an abrupt halt when her grandmother dies and her mother, Quinn, moves their small family to an animal sanctuary. Callie is forced to live with a mother she doesn’t understand and learn to navigate the social hierarchy in high school. Her only comforts are the cryptic notes found in her grandmother’s old jewelry box and the new unexpected friendships she makes. These notes and her friends help Callie begin to find the balance between loving what was lost and embracing what can be. The dual narratives of Victoria’s and Callie’s experiences is well paced and operates as a time line tying the past to the future. The characters under the big top are larger-than-life, and the relationship between Victoria and the circus family shines. Both Callie’s relationship with her mother and her lack of social awareness are believably depicted. Teens who have ever felt out of place will relate to this character. Unfortunately, the ending of the story remains unresolved.
VERDICT Good historical fiction with a solid narrative, this title is perfect for school and public libraries

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