"Readers will devour these brightly shining characters and enjoy details such as Joyce's fearlessness, Elaine's artistic vision, Dad's secret project in the basement, and Mom's green thumb. A vivid historical story with heart...A vivid historical story with heart. The Vietnam War creates a compelling backdrop for this engaging, poignant work" - School Library Journal
"When the unthinkable happens, no one can make things right in Joyce's life. Her best option? To run away. As she finds her voice and true freedom, her wit and unique view will make you LOL - well when you aren't crying." - Girls' Life Magazine
"Joyce is a well-drawn protagonist who never stops trying to make things right, and some readers will respond to her emotional turmoil of pain, sadness, and hope" - Booklist
"Jelly Bean Summer" is a thoroughly delightful and entertaining read that is especially recommended for children ages 8 to 12. An original and deftly crafted novel from beginning to end" - Midwest Book Review
Can an oft-rejected orphan settle into the stable, loving home of a pair of gentle sisters who are retired missionaries to Africa?
Twelve-year-old Wilma Sue’s been bounced from home to home in her short life. Now it’s hard for her to believe she even deserves a real home. In a winsomely attractive first-person narration, she relates her growing wonder with Ruth, a social activist, and Naomi, who bakes cakes that are somehow infused with magic. Naomi brings the cakes to deserving members of their tightknit community, each confection perfectly matched to its needy recipient. The sisters also keep chickens that move from being Wilma Sue’s responsibility to her calling. Penny, a girl who lives just down the street seems like the only obstruction to happiness. In many ways, she is more damaged than Wilma Sue, struggling to satisfy her widowed mother’s unmet needs, an impossible task. Magnin maintains a delicate balance between a fablelike fantasy and reality fiction as Wilma Sue gradually discovers that not only is she eminently worthy of love, but that she can also help the people around her by loving them. Wilma’s captivating, clever language and short declarative sentences perfectly exemplify her wary but reverential view of the world.
Although the message is sometimes spelled out instead of implied, it’s a minor flaw in this worthy, heartwarming effort. (Fantasy. 10-15)
Kirkus Starred Review
“Gently, deliberately paced. Luna’s first-person tale provides a fresh look at mental disabilities and the additional burden of negative attitudes. . . A quiet coming-of-age tale with heart . . .” - Kirkus
“Delivers a positive message about standing up for those who cannot advocate for themselves.” - Booklist