True North Vincent is struggling after spending months in lockdown because of a virus. With her mom stuck across the border in Canada and her dad working long hours as a nurse at the hospital, True feels responsible for making sure her family stays safe, especially her grandma and her younger brother, Georgie, whose asthma makes him more vulnerable to the virus. She also wishes her older sister, Rose, would be friends with her again instead of texting on her phone.
True finds escape and comfort in working on her maps, a skill she learned from her mother. To keep Georgie entertained, True creates an elaborate treasure map for him to follow that spans the forest beyond her backyard. While exploring, they find a litter of newborn kittens in an old barn. The smallest kitten looks sickly and has been abandoned by the mama cat. True names her Teacup; she knows exactly how it feels to not have a mom around when you need her the most.
True also meets Kyler, who wants to care for the kittens, and True realizes he might not be the bully everyone thinks he is. But when both Teacup and Kyler get sick, True is afraid she won't be able to help everyone all by herself.
Running out of her own fixes and remedies, True reaches out and realizes that her family does care about her and wants to offer support and guidance to help her find her way through the unexpected challenges the virus and life bring.
This is a great middle grade read. It is very relatable since it is set during the pandemic and it will really resonate with kids. Since everyone has experienced this, kids will be able to see themselves in the story. Trying to cope with being locked down and learning online. Wanting to see your friends and live normal life but worrying about your family.
This is told from True’s point of view and how she struggles to live during lockdown and follow all of the rules given to her. She wants to live life but she also worries about the virus. How can she find the compromise? This is a beautiful story about learning to trust yourself and to lean on your family. A wonderful middle grade read, True North is a story that young and not-so-young readers will both enjoy. I received a copy of this book for free; all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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