I was sold on this book by the second sentence. “We lived in a perfect stucco house, just off the sparkly Pacific, with a lime tree in the backyard and pink and yellow roses gone wild around a picket fence. But that wasn’t enough to keep my daddy from going to jail when I turned eleven.” A prickly beginning to a book that will stick with you long after you finish the last page.
One of the joys of reading for me is sometimes stumbling upon a book that just moves me in a way I never expected. The Year the Swallows Came Early is that kind of book. “Groovy” Robinson wants to go to culinary school when she grows up, but unfortunately learns some harsh life lessons when she turns eleven. She also learns that life is complex and the power of forgiveness is tremendously powerful.
I imagine more girls will pick up this book than boys, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The author fully develops Groovy’s friend Frankie into a believable but flawed character, and just as noteworthy as Groovy. Try it out, I hope you will like it as much as I did. (Review by Mrs. Hembree)