The premise: Every year Alice and her parents spend one month of Wisconsin's cold winter along the coast of Florida, and this year Alice hopes for great things. Turning ten and searching harder than ever for that elusive Junonia will make it so. What Alice finds, however, is that the great things she hoped for result in adapting to difference and accepting change. And she's none too happy.
What keeps readers reading: Hoping and hoping Alice finds a Junonia. When Alice's beloved 'Aunt' Kate shows up this year with boyfriend Ted and his young daughter Mallory - and Mr. and Mrs. Wishmeier's grandkids do not come - and neither does Helen Blair - everything Alice dreamed for this Florida vacation fizzles. And to make matters worse, Mr. Barden says something Alice cannot forget and Alice herself says all the wrong things. Junonia shows readers that change comes, no matter what. Kevin Henkes brings us into a beautiful setting, where problems arise and things change, but perhaps the Junonia Alice seeks looks different than she thinks. And perhaps it's the same for us.
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Happy middle grade reading!