Tuesday, July 15, 2014

On my bookshelf

I keep finding the most wonderful Middle Grade gems. My latest treasure was "The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky" by Holly Schindler.

(buy it here!)

Here's the blurb:

August “Auggie” Jones lives with her Grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town. So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.” Auggie is determined to prove that she is not as run-down as the outside of her house might suggest. Using the kind of items Gus usually hauls to the scrap heap, a broken toaster becomes a flower; church windows turn into a rainbow walkway; and an old car gets new life as spinning whirligigs. What starts out as a home renovation project becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had—and redefine a whole town’s perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time. Auggie’s talent for creating found art will remind readers that one girl’s trash really is another girl’s treasure.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure." I loved this story. Auggie is one spunky girl (I'd want to have her around in either a debate or a fist fight-I think she'd win both). She shows a lot of courage in proving that she and Gus -and the rest of her neighbors- are not trashy people. I loved how much Gus loved her and how they worked together to create 'company' as they call their sculpture people. 

Auggie has a rough time at her new school when one of her friends leaves her for the new girl. I love that Holly Schindler put that storyline in here, because great skies above, have we not all gone through that? Especially girls. But Auggie was a trooper (and way more gracious than I would have been). She rides it out and eventually her friend comes back to her.

This book is full of possibility. I love how Auggie goes from admiring everyone else's skills and talents to coming to see her own 'shine' as she calls it. Everybody's got shine, and Auggie finding hers and making company with Gus makes this story the best junk story I've ever read!

If you love trash, treasure, spunk, or shine, you need to read this! Two hearty recycled thumbs up!

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