I received this book at no cost from the publisherViolets Are Blue by Barbara Dee
Published by Aladdin on October 12, 2021
I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the VIOLETS ARE BLUE by Barbara Dee Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
From the author of the acclaimed My Life in the Fish Tank and Maybe He Just Likes You comes a moving and relatable middle grade novel about secrets, family, and the power of forgiveness.
Twelve-year-old Wren loves makeup—special effect makeup, to be exact. When she is experimenting with new looks, Wren can create a different version of herself. A girl who isn’t in a sort-of-best friendship with someone who seems like she hates her. A girl whose parents aren’t divorced and doesn’t have to learn to like her new stepmom.
So, when Wren and her mom move to a new town for a fresh start, she is cautiously optimistic. And things seem to fall into place when Wren meets potential friends and gets selected as the makeup artist for her school’s upcoming production of Wicked.
Only, Wren’s mom isn’t doing so well. She’s taking a lot of naps, starts snapping at Wren for no reason, and always seems to be sick. And what’s worse, Wren keeps getting hints that things aren’t going well at her new job at the hospital, where her mom is a nurse. And after an opening night disaster leads to a heartbreaking discovery, Wren realizes that her mother has a serious problem—a problem that can’t be wiped away or covered up.
After all the progress she’s made, can Wren start over again with her devastating new normal? And will she ever be able to heal the broken trust with her mom?
Praise for The VIOLETS ARE BLUE:
“Dee addresses with aplomb important topics such as opioid addiction, divorce, bullying, and moving. This inspired novel deftly depicts the self-doubt and loneliness that many children (and adults) feel.” — September 2021 ― School Library Journal
Wren is 12 years old and dealing with divided time between her mother in Chicago and her father in Brooklyn. Her dad has a new wife while her mom is working as a nurse and struggling mentally and physically. Wren finally finds something she loves when she starts watching YouTuber Cat FX who does special effects makeup and finds she has talent doing makeup. She practices her looks and her new step-mom buys her products to encourage her. She hides the gifts as not to upset her mom. Her mom becomes snippy and depressed while working as a nurse at the local hospital. Wren really tries to help her but she is not mentally mature enough at this point to deal with divorce, being a kid, and of course the mean girl at school.
When Wren has a chance to do makeup at the school play, things don’t go right there either. I felt so bad for Wren and how she tries to placate everyone around her but never seems to be able to help. I am so glad Dee brought in therapy and parents who care about their daughter enough to say they are sorry to her. This is a difficult story to read but Dee approaches this with realistic events and makes important points to girls this age about how they can stand up. The family is flawed but depicted with love and growth even in bad circumstances that should give hope to tweens in the same situation. I love this author’s stories since they always provide solutions and not just platitudes.
About Barbara Dee:
Barbara Dee is the author of twelve middle grade novels published by Simon & Schuster, including Violets Are Blue, My Life in the Fish Tank, Maybe He Just Likes You, Everything I Know About You, Halfway Normal, and Star-Crossed. Her books have earned several starred reviews and have been named to many best-of lists, including the The Washington Post’s Best Children’s Books, the ALA Notable Children’s Books, the ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project List, the NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, and the ALA Rainbow List Top Ten. Barbara lives with her family, including a naughty cat named Luna and a sweet rescue hound named Ripley, in Westchester County, New York.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of VIOLETS ARE BLUE, US Only.
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