Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden

The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden by Philippa Dowding
Publication Date: February 18, 2014
Publisher: Dundurn
Pages: 200
Keywords: coming-of-age, family, growing up
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley
Get It: Book Depository
This morning, she woke up on the ceiling. So begins the strange story of Gwendolyn Golden. One perfectly ordinary day for no apparent reason, she wakes up floating around her room like one of her little brother’s Batman balloons.
Puberty is weird enough. Everyone already thinks she’s an oddball with anger issues because her father vanished in a mysterious storm one night when she was six. Then there are the mean, false rumours people are spreading about her at school. On top of all that, now she’s a flying freak.
How can she tell her best friend or her mother? How can she live her life? After Gwendolyn almost meets disaster flying too high and too fast one night, help arrives from the most unexpected place. And stranger still? She’s not alone.
After reading the description (you know I do that after I read the book, not before), this book exceeds that description quite a bit. It sounds extremely juvenile in that blurb, but it's not the case with this book. While the age group was on the younger side (think before puberty), it was still a pretty cute and well-written book for that younger age.

Not only does Gwen have to worry about fitting in in middle school and dealing with her first party (and first crush), she's also got this problem of just floating randomly and not being able to control it. We don't actually know that people think she's an oddball with anger issues (I actually didn't get that at all), until something happens in the book, and then I think she has every right to be angry.

It moved along pretty quickly (I think a little more backstory on the character and what happened to her family in the past would have been helpful, it was kind of confusing when things were revealed), and the book overall had a nice pacing and cute quality to it.

Read When: This would be one I would buy for my younger cousins as they're growing up and getting ready to turn 10. It had that great early reader quality to it with a little bit of meaning that I think would be a really good one for that age group to read.

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