Saturday, February 13, 2016

Winter Reading 2016 Just Like Me

Just Like Me

"Mom insisted that "someday" I'd look back and be thankful for this chance to make my friendship with Avery and Becca something special. Not likely." Julia is not all excited to be sent off to summer camp with Avery and Becca, or to be part of an article on international adoptions. Her mother thinks it is a wonderful idea for her to have bonding time with the other girls who were adopted from the same orphanage, so Julia is at Camp Little Big Woods for the week. She would much rather be with her best friend Madison at their park district's craft camp and has no interest discussing what she, Avery, and Becca have in common. To make matters worse, the other girls in their cabin in their cabin don't seem to get along with anyone else and have some sort of rivalry with Avery and Becca from last summer. It's really not much to write home about. Arguments, name-calling, bad sportsmanship, and other troubles seem to be the way they will spend their entire week. Will they ever be able to find a way to get along?

The narration of the events that take place between the girls is enhanced by the entries into Julia's journal. In those private thoughts we see the doubts and questions she has about her birth mother, questions she has never admitted to anyone. All the while we are watching the campers bicker and struggle to form a working team, we also see Julia's inner struggle with her origins. The journal gives her a chance to ask the questions that she has never asked her adopted parents, for fear they would be hurt by her curiosity about her birth mother. Inspired by the adoption of her own daughter, Nancy Cavanaugh has created a story that deals with friendship, family, and what creates the ties between us. 

I've been a fan of Nancy's writing since I read her book Always, Abigail. This book has many similarities to that one, including the importance of relationships and the use of writing by the characters to help advance the story. This is a wonderful book for middle grade readers who enjoy realistic fiction. 

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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