The Essential Glimmer of Hope

Middle grade readers are engulfed in emerging awareness of the world around them. They have a lot to learn, a lot to to try and understand. That’s plenty right there, but it’s not all that’s required of them. They have to learn about themselves too. Sometimes that process is straightforward, if painfully and memorably awkward.

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Sometimes it’s decidedly not straightforward. Peer conflicts and personal challenges loom large. Young people encounter problems that threaten to get out of hand and actually hurt them. They may not know how and when to seek help. Fear and shame stop them in their tracks.

The Scream

When this happens, they need an antidote to the poison of despair. They need hope. They have to have it.

This is where a deftly written, sensitive novel like Elly Swartz’s upcoming FINDING PERFECT (OCTOBER 2016) comes in. I just finished reading the ARC—the pre-publication Advanced Reader Copy—and emerged feeling both enlightened and heartened. This is a story that trusts readers with hard truths while encouraging them to turn away from despair and step toward hope.

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Twelve-year-old Molly, FINDING PERFECT’S main character, finds that her efforts to control life’s turmoil backfire. Habits that once brought comfort and security become traps that steal her peace. Her pain is very real, yet throughout her story, there is an essential glimmer of hope. Hope that she can and will find her peace again. That with courage and support, she’ll find her way—step by small step—out of a thorny tangle that once felt inescapable.

Hope doesn’t smooth over life’s snags and scars with a veneer of perfection. It shines light onto them, eliminating dark corners of doubt and fostering strength and growth.

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This is what a book like FINDING PERFECT can offer to the beleaguered and bewildered middle grade reader. A chance to experience a trial and emerge triumphant with a bit of hard-won hope of their very own.


Hayley's Author Photo

I write for young people and live to make kids laugh. I’m currently expecting two picture books, BABYMOON (Candlewick Press) and WHAT MISS MITCHELL SAW, spring 2019, (Simon&Schuster, Beach Lane Books) illustrated by Diana Sudyka.

Come hang out with me on Twitter @hayleybwrites, Facebook, or in the meadow: http://hayleybarrettwrites.wordpress.com.

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4 Comments

Filed under Anxiety, ARCs, Character Development, Characters, Uncategorized

4 responses to “The Essential Glimmer of Hope

  1. Elly Swartz

    This so beautiful. I am touched, honored, moved. Thank you, Hayley for believing in Finding Perfect. For believing my story can shine hope in an otherwise dark space. That is truly the best compliment. xo

    Like

  2. Oh, Hayley! You perfectly captured FINDING PERFECT – I love this book so much and can’t wait to share it with the world when it releases this fall! @ellydswartz is a wise and wonderfully talented writer! xo

    Like

  3. Hayley, this is a heartfelt and gorgeously-written post. FINDING PERFECT is definitely on my “must read” list. Congrats to Elly for writing such a lovely and moving book, and to you for promoting it so beautifully!

    Like

  4. This is lovely, Hayley! Young readers need book’s like FINDING PERFECT, to take the edge off of life’s occasional pokey side and offer hope.

    Like

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