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Letters to Juniper [Kindle Edition]

Peggy Tibbetts
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $10.00 (77%)

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Book Description

Sarah Smith doesn’t remember much about her early years. She knows her mother died when she was six, and her father moved her and her younger brother to Northern Idaho. Once there, her life changed drastically.

The only vivid memory she has of her early childhood is time spent with her best friend Juniper Holland. In her letters to Juniper, Sarah reveals her innermost thoughts and feelings about her reclusive life with three younger brothers in under the rigid oppression of her father and stepmother, who call themselves Separatists. Their lives are turned upside down by an FBI investigation of her father’s association with members of the Aryan Nation. When he refuses to be arrested on an illegal weapons charge, a standoff occurs. As the tension and violence escalate, Sarah faces life and death decisions in order to survive.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peggy Tibbetts is the author of two middle grade novels, Letters to Juniper and The Road to Weird; two young adult novels, PFC Liberty Stryker and Hurricane Katrina; and a suspense novel for adults, Rumors of War. She has worked as a professional editor and is a fervent blogger. She enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, and camping with her husband, Tod and beloved Malamute, Zeus, in the mountains of western Colorado, where they live.

Product Details

  • File Size: 233 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0967786827
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Sisterhood Publications (April 4, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004V5I746
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,584,552 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Example of Quality YA May 17, 2011
By Chynna
Format:Kindle Edition
As an author and an avid reader, one thing I look for in books--whatever the genre--is the author's ability to capture my attention from the get-go, allowing tiny snippets of information to come as needed to keep me reading. And that's exactly what author Peggy Tibbetts succeeded in doing with the amazing YA book, LETTERS TO JUNIPER.

At first, the reader meets Sarah Smith. She's a twelve-year-old girl who forced to live an isolated life in a cabin deep in the woods...far away from `normal' civilization. Sarah lives in the small cabin with her father, step-mother and three younger brothers. Sarah spends most of her day doing chores, caring for her brothers, and hunting. She longs to do the fun things other girls her age normally do, including making friends, listening to music, watching the latest movie or television show, going to dances and gossiping about boys. But she isn't allowed to do any of those things. In fact, her father forbids his family from interacting with the outside world. He even has them carry rifles and believing that outside forces are constantly watching them. The isolation and loneliness has Sarah start writing letters to her best childhood friend, Juniper.

With each letter, the reader is drawn deeper into Sarah's life. We see exactly what she has to endure from hard chores to her step-mother's harassment to her father's spiral into paranoia and fear. We start wondering what's really going on in this family. Is there a secret so devastating that her father is willing to die to protect?

I won't spoil the ending but this book is brilliant. Not only does Peggy get into the mind of a young adult, and does it so well, she also tells the story through letters--not many people can write in that style successfully.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Would be great for YA English classes April 6, 2012

I didn't see that coming is what I thought!

"Letters to Juniper" is Sarah Smith's story as told via her letters to a long ago best friend named Juniper. Poor Sarah has to endure life as a recluse because this is what her father has decided. I cannot imagine being away from everyone in what seems to be the middle of nowhere where your father and stepmother are the people who tell you how things are and how they are meant to be. Sarah only knows what she sees and what she is told by those who shelter her from the big wide world. She doesn't know that her father and stepmother are mad and delusional, she doesn't know the way they behave would be considered wrong and unacceptable by most people who do not live within the compound.

I really felt sorry for the children. Not only for the immediate storyline but thinking beyond that, the repercussions this kind of seclusion can have on children. Of course if they stay in the compound for the rest of their lives they won't know any different but if a child were to leave the compound I can't help thinking how he/she would find the world outside. I imagine it would be quite daunting and he/she probably wouldn't know how to act appropriately around people. It's a scary thought.

Getting back to Sarah though I felt sadness for her and her lost memories. Sarah's few memories of her past give her something to cling to and Juniper gives her someone she can confide in. I imagine Sarah might feel she doesn't have much of a voice around the household hence the decision to start writing to Juniper and free her thoughts and feelings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quality read for middle school and beyond March 28, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As the Underground's first Middle Grade novel review, I am pleased to present Letters to Juniper. Peggy Tibbetts' gripping novel introduces us to twelve year old Sarah, raised in a secluded Idaho farm with extreme fundamentalist parents. Sarah's letters paint a vivid picture of a world all too real for thousands of children throughout American history.

Set in rural Idaho, Sarah introduces us to her isolated world. At twelve, her circumstances couldn't be more different than that of her peers. Sarah's mother is dead. Her father and step-mother now raise Sarah and her siblings on a farm straight out of the 1800s. There's no electricity, no running water. Sarah's father lives and breathes by the supreme law of Yashua. Strict adherence to these laws are required. The reader feels instant sympathy for Sarah who must write secret letters by candlelight, cook meals for her three younger brothers and, worst of all, spend days in the birthing shed during her menstrual cycle.

Then her father is arrested by Federal Agents for dealing in illegal firearms. The Feds want Sarah's father as an informant on a group of Neo-Nazis. When her father refuses, their world begins to unravel.

The story is told through a series of heart-felt, emotional letters from Sarah to her long lost friend Juniper who she vaguely remembers from her life in Florida. Though I sometime found myself longing for more depth of setting description than a letter could provide, the letters themselves touched me. We are drawn in to Sarah's world by the sympathy we feel for her plight and we are hooked through the end to find out what becomes of her.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars great book
Easy read. Good story. Really liked how the entire story is made up of letters. Really gets you thinking about young kids not knowing any different then what they are told.
Published 3 months ago by Ashlee Relford
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow what an ending!
This is an interesting story. My mind is still thinking about Juniper. I also liked the format of the book. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dealsharingaunt
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and well-written
This book unfolds as a series of letters from 12-year-old Sarah to her childhood friend Juniper. The format is believable, not only because Sarah's letters reveal the authentic... Read more
Published on May 29, 2012 by Victoria Hanley
5.0 out of 5 stars Sarah's story is one that would speak to many of us

This book is classed as young adult or middle school fiction since the main character and the language is that of a 12 year old; however I found myself... Read more
Published on February 21, 2012 by Masquerade Crew
5.0 out of 5 stars What if you were kidnapped and kept separate from society...
Sarah is a 12-year-old girl living with her father as a Separatist. There is a separatist group nearby, but Sarah's father refuses to join that group. Read more
Published on October 25, 2011 by John L. Hoh Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read with an ending that will make you gasp out loud
Disturbingly realistic and with an ending that literally had my jaw hanging, `Letters to Juniper' by Peggy Tibbets is an enthralling book of religious fanaticism and the perils of... Read more
Published on October 17, 2011 by Bec Timmis
5.0 out of 5 stars 21st Century Cinderella
It's been six years since 12 year-old Sarah Smith moved away from her Ft. Meyers, Florida home after the sudden death of her mother in an automobile accident. Read more
Published on June 18, 2011 by Michael Thal
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Page-Turner!
I absolutely loved this book! Peggy Tibbett has captured a wonderful voice with twelve-year-old Sarah Smith. This middle grade story flows seamlessly from beginning to end. Read more
Published on June 8, 2011 by Anne Loader McGee
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking for Sarah
A middle grade novel with a preteen as the protagonist. Sarah lives near a wildnerness with her father, brother and stepmother and stepbrothers. Read more
Published on May 29, 2011 by writer2050
4.0 out of 5 stars Tense and shocking read for kids and adults
Peggy Tibbetts's middle grade novel Letters to Juniper is an engaging story that will either enrage you or shock you, but will definitely hook you on a young girl's emotional... Read more
Published on May 20, 2011 by M. Purfield
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More About the Author

Hiking and skiing with her dogs in the Rocky Mountains give Peggy Tibbetts a passion for life that fuels her inspiration as a writer.

Peggy is the author of "Crazy Bitch: Living with Canine Compulsive Disorder." Also, "PFC Liberty Stryker" and "Letters to Juniper", a 2012 Colorado Book Award Finalist. She was managing editor and columnist at She has also worked as an associate producer of educational videos for Upper Midwest Films, contributing editor for Children's Magic Window magazine, and Children's Writing Resource Editor at She lives with her family in Silt, Colorado.

She blogs at Advice from a Caterpillar, From the Styx, and YA Authors You've Never Heard Of.


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