THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY by Heidi W. Durrow: A Review


This 2010 publication won the Bellwether Prize for fiction (an award featuring social justice) that year. It could be categorized as a YA novel, but it had great appeal to me as an adult reader. The heroine, Rachel, whose unusual blue eyes are often mentioned, is the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I.

After the family tragedy that happened in Chicago, which defines the rest of her life, she goes to live with her grandmother (on her father’s side) in Portland. The novel deals with the issue of whether Rachel is “black” or “white”–she doesn’t fit in with either. A parallel story finds Jamie, later known as “Bricks,” who lived in the apartment projects where Rachel’s family “ended,” leaving her the only survivor. Jamie is a witness to the tragic event.

The story unfolds, layer by layer, with anecdotes about each of the main characters alternately, until…

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Hoarding Books hosts a meme where bloggers/readers copy the first line of a book they are reading to give a “feel” for what the book is about. Can one decide from the first line whether she/he wants to read the book? Read my Friday Firstliner from Kate DiCamillo’s Beverly, Right Here:

“Buddy died, and Beverly buried him, and then she set off toward Lake Clara.  She went the back way, through the orange groves…she saw her cousin Joe Travis…[who was] nineteen years old. He had red hair and a tiny little red beard and a red Camaro…Beverly didn’t like him all that much.”

This is not just the story of a runaway. It is an excellent character study set in a complex plot with poignant relationships at stake. YA author DiCamillo is well known by readers everywhere in grades 5- high school, and doesn’t disappoint in this excellent tale.

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The idea of the Tuesday Teaser is to tease another reader into looking into your current read as a possibility for their TBR list. Mine today is from Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Words on Fire, categorized as a Middle-Grades Read.

“My name is Audra. In my language, Lithuanian, it means storm. But my language had become illegal. If the soldiers we passed on the road heard us speaking it, we could be whipped on the spot and arrested. Or in some cases, we might disappear. That happened sometimes.”

And so we enter the world of Russian Cossacks, underground book smugglers, and rigorous political control as we enter this outstanding YA historical novel. It promises to be an exciting, emotional read.

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Her Last Hurrah

No one knew for sure, but she did. This would be her last hurrah. Bold and bright and full of expectations she didn’t mean to hold onto. But how could she not? This was her purpose: to grow, to blossom, to bloom…big. If not that, then what?

Photo + Musings ©2019, Jen Payne. For similar reflections, please purchase a copy of my new book WAITING OUT THE STORM. Click here for details.

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Senseless Sunday Sarcasm : Nope…just…NOPE!

Two on a Rant

Things found on social media that are just one, giant, NOPE!

Nope, this isn’t hard at all!  If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times:  I’ll cross that bridge when it burns behind me.

Image may contain: bridge and outdoorIt’s such a sad, sad world when your hero gives up.

Can I get a triple NOPE NOPE NOPE for this travesty!   Amazon sold this shirt and pulled it after the ensuing outrage.  They missed a great way to rid the world of pedophiles: Trace the B@$tards who bought it and jail them! 

‘Daddy’s Little Slut’ kid’s shirt pulled from Amazon amid backlashI can’t imagine the horror of going through this!  After two days without chocolate, hell…I’ve lost my mind

You don’t want me to sing.  Another giant NOPE

Image may contain: one or more people and textAnd at the end of this senseless sarcasm post, is my Christmas message.  Why?  Because Santa looked at my life took away my presents, and said, “Nope.”

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