Forget-Me-Not Blue

Holiday House. Aug. 2023. 272p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780823453597.
Gr 3-7–Summertime is often not a respite for those who depend on the structure, supervision, and food that public school provides. Moranville introduces siblings Sofie, 10, and her brother Connie, 13, as they parent themselves using wit above their years to avoid protective services and keep their family intact. Sofie and Connie’s single-parent mom has abandoned the kids and let abusive boyfriends harm them in the past, and it appears her hard-partying ways are returning. Once Sofie’s great-grandfather, Gunner, leaves prison on parole, Sofie’s mom spirals out of control landing Sofie in foster care with more surprises along the way. This title has multiple social-emotional learning connections about accepting your feelings, fighting terror with new habits, building trust, and nurturing a garden. Moranville skillfully intersperses literature connections that implore readers to uncover just what was so comforting to Sofie, and to discover the power of reading in their own lives.
VERDICT A unique book with the message that the scars of generational trauma are deep and lasting, but the cycle can be broken with creative outlets, strong family ties, and determination. A must-read companion to Leslie Connor’s Waiting for Normal.

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