Monday, March 10, 2014

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: After Iris

This novel, After Iris by Natasha Farrant, is the story of one family's deep ache of the heart, a family struggling after losing one of their own. But it's written with a lightness and humor which the blurb on the back cover captures perfectly: The story of a lovably imperfect family trying to hold it together without driving each other (too) crazy.

The premise: Blue's twin sister died three years ago and now her parents spend most of their time away from home, working -- sometimes all over the globe. Blue's older sister is trying to find herself. Younger siblings Jasmine and Twig obsess over pet rats. And Blue just blends in. When an au pair named Zoran enters the picture, as well as a trouble-maker neighbor named Joss, things grow even more chaotic for Blue's family.

What I loved: This is a story of grief woven into a story of growing up. It's both humorous and serious, light-hearted and heavy, full of sadness and full of joy. And all of this together is life -- a blend of beautiful times and heart-wrenching ones.

For more middle grade recommendations, 
follow the links on Shannon Messenger's blog. 
Happy middle grade reading,

25 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great contemporary story. I hadn't heard of it at all. Thanks for letting us know about it.

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  2. I'm not a big fan of this type of story, but this one actually sounds intriguing. Though, the cover doesn't exactly scream "read me." Thanks for your review.

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  3. I wanted an ARC of this book so bad last year.
    I knew I was going to enjoy the story and you just proved me right. Now I will get it from my library.
    Crossing fingers they have some copies.

    Thanks for the feature! :)
    Akoss

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  4. Hmm, it almost sounds like it has Mary Poppins overtones. But maybe I'm seeing shadow bunnies there, and it doesn't really? I'm intrigued enough to pick it up, anyway. Thanks for the recommend, and happy MMGM!

    --Suzanne
    www.suzannewarr.com

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  5. Grief is such a tough subject to tackle. This one sounds good! Thanks for the rec.

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  6. I love books about family dynamics in larger families (I have five siblings, so I know all about it!). This reminds me of another series where each book is written by a different sister, and I think they were all named after flowers . . . is this ringing a bell with anyone?

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  7. I hadn't heard of this book, either. Sounds interesting, thanks for the review.

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  8. I'm going to look into this one. I like stories that cover a difficult subject with humor and love.

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  9. This sounds like a really important book for families to know about. I hadn't heard of it. Thanks for telling me about it.

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  10. Hats off to any writer who can deal with heartache and give it a touch of lightness. Congratulation to Natasha.

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  11. Sounds great and I love the cover.

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  12. I remember hearing about this book (possibly from another MMGM post?). There are an awful lot of MG books about coming to terms with death. But a twin sister, oh, that hurts.

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  13. Sounds like a good read. Thanks for sharing, I hadn't heard of it. :)

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  14. I agree with Joanne's comments above--coming to grips with death is a big topic in MG nowadays it seems. In fact, I've just come from Andrea Mack's MMGM, and that is also a novel about a child coming to grips with a sibling's death. Is this the age when we first begin to become aware of mortality?

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  15. Thank you for this review! It sounds like a great read.

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  16. This sounds really interesting! You had me with the combination of light-hearted and heavy. I love it when more serious books have a humorous side.

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  17. I love when authors are able to balance the tough subjects with the light hearted & humorous moments. It's an art form. I'll have to check this one out =)

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  18. My goodness, that balance is so tenuous. I find I'm more timid about allowing authors to toy with my heartstrings lately. I don't want to cry while reading a book, but laughter? I'll take that in a heartbeat.

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  19. Grief is such a hard topic for kids. It sounds like this book balances it well.

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  20. Aw, this premise sounds so sad. I love how it's able to be lighthearted as well, though. Stories that are able to mix those two things never fail to appeal to me!

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  21. I have not heard of this one before, but it is on my list now. Sounds like such an interesting book. Definitely different! I already feel my heart going out to the MC. :) Thanks for sharing.
    ~Jess

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  22. I love everything about this! The character names, the cover, the premise!

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  23. Yes yes and yes on everything you say about this book. Gosh...I just want to go a read it again. Thank you for sharing it!

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