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A Smidgen of Sky Hardcover – November 6, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 660L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547807988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547807980
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #778,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-6-Piper Lee DeLuna thinks that life with her single mom is just fine. When she was six, her pilot father's plane went down over the Atlantic and he was never found, but she's sure that he'll come back someday. Now her mother is getting remarried, and Piper worries that once Mama gets a new last name, Daddy will never find them. Worse, her stepfather-to-be has a bratty daughter named Ginger, and Piper Lee can't imagine them ever being sisters. She comes up with a plan to stop the wedding-first, she locates Ginger's birth mother, who left years ago, hoping the woman will come back. Next she joins an online group looking for information about her lost father. When her plan actually works-in an almost-dangerous way-Piper Lee doesn't feel the happiness she so expected, and she begins to question herself and her memories. Winget's time period is ambiguous, but the gentle story is compelling, and Piper Lee is an instantly likable, flawed character with a good heart. Hand this one to kids who want realistic fiction with just a dash of excitement.-Jamie Kallio, Orland Park Public Library, ILα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Ten-year-old Piper Lee DeLuna loves planes, which is no surprise given that her daddy was a pilot and named her after his aircraft. But four years prior, his plane disappeared over the ocean, and now her mama is getting remarried to a man with a 10-year-old of his own. Piper still holds out a smidgen of hope that her daddy is just missing and not dead (“sometimes miracles happen”), and so she launches into efforts to keep mama and Ben from walking down the aisle. Winget’s debut touches on themes familiar to middle-grade lit—from the fact that Piper blames herself for her daddy’s disappearance to her reluctance to give up the dream of his return to her difficulties envisioning a new future. This sweet story has an old-fashioned feel, and while it mostly grazes the surface of issues, and the ending feels somewhat contrived, it may speak to all those children out there hoping against hope that, somehow, mom and dad will find their way back to each other. Grades 4-6. --Ann Kelley

More About the Author

Hi, from the beautiful mountains of North Idaho. I've lived in the Pacific Northwest since I was nine years old, and have been writing just as long! My dream was always to write middle grade novels for kids, and after many years writing short stories and articles, I've finally realized my dream! My debut MG novel, "A Smidgen of Sky," was released from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in November 2012. It's about spunky Piper Lee, a young girl determined to stop her mother from getting remarried at any cost, until she realizes "any cost" may be way too high. The reviews so far have been wonderful, so please check it out and let me know what you think. You can read the whole first chapter.

My second middle grade, A Million Ways Home, was released from Scholastic Press in August of 2014. It was chosen as a featured selection in the Scholastic Mother-Daughter book club, and will also be in the school book fairs! Be sure to check it out, especially if you love dogs! Read a summary on my site. You can also read some free short stories and articles, learn more about me, and see pictures of my two adorable dogs--don't miss it!! www.diannawinget.com

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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While the story is a simple and short one, what makes the book stand out is the writing and characters.
Craig
The unexpected consequences of Piper's lively schemes take her from misadventure to misadventure and finally to the truth about what she really wants.
Juanita Havill
A parent's remarriage can be a traumatic experience for a ten year old and this novel treats the subject with sympathetic insight.
Neal Reynolds

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Juanita Havill on November 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Piper Lea DeLuna has two months to act and somehow keep her mother from marrying Ben Hutchings and bringing his whiny, difficult daughter Ginger into the family. What could her mama be thinking? When her daddy comes back, where will he fit in if Mama marries Ben? And Piper is sure as hope can make her that her daddy didn't die when he crashed his single engine Piper Cub into the Atlantic Ocean. He survived, and he's coming back.

The unexpected consequences of Piper's lively schemes take her from misadventure to misadventure and finally to the truth about what she really wants. Authentic portrayals of Piper and all of the characters make them real enough to cry over and laugh with.

I would not be surprised if Piper grows up to have a career involving airplanes. She has the right stuff. And as far as crafting a warm, funny, touching, debut novel, so does Dianna Dorisi Winget.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tina Says VINE VOICE on September 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
'm always on the lookout for great tween realistic fiction novels for my daughters. These are the types of books I loved when I was growing up, and despite my best efforts at reading from a wide variety of genres, realistic fiction is often what my oldest daughter wants. (Scary how that apple doesn't fall far from the tree!)
A Smidgen of Sky, a debut novel by Dianna Dorisi Winget, due out in November, is a perfect tween read. Piper Lee DeLuna is still struggling to come to terms with her pilot-father's untimely death. Because he died in a plane crash and his body was never found, she is sure he is alive somewhere and will eventually come back to her. Over the course of the four years since the accident, Piper's mother has moved on, and is now engaged to be married to Ben. Not only is Piper not excited about Ben replacing her father, Ben's daughter, Ginger, is not someone Piper wants to get to know or hang out with.
Ginger has always wanted a mother and she and Piper try to find Ginger's mom. She left when Ginger was very young, not ready to be a mom yet. When Piper locates her it is hard to decide if she is doing this for Ginger or herself. Piper's plan to get the wedding canceled seems to moving right along, and Piper must ask herself if that is what she really wants.
Winget's novel is full of lots of important lessons - from an awareness of online predators to lessons about love, family, and dealing with loss, A Smidgen of Sky is one I will be giving to my daughter to read, buying for my school library, and telling others about. I am hopeful Winget plans on writing more books geared toward this audience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Beatrice Fairfax TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This novel for young readers centers on a ten year old girl named Piper DeLuna who is having a difficult time coming to grips with major changes that are about to occur in het life. Four years prior, Piper's father disappeared in the Atlantic when the plane he was piloting crashed. No body was ever recovered and Piper never really got the closure she needed and hangs on to the hope that he may some day return. Unfortunately, Piper's mother has moved on and is engaged to be married to Ben, a prison guard who also has a ten year old daughter named Ginger. Aside from feeling that her mother is being disloyal to her father, Piper wants nothing to do with Ben or his daughter and the whole blended family thing. To further her game plan along and stop this marriage from happening, Piper encourages Ginger to find her birth mother who long ago abandoned her family.
A realistically told story seen through the eyes of Piper, this book deals with the themes of abandonment, accepting reality and the responsibility for one's actions, the concept of blended family, grief, and Internet predators in a real and very human way. It follows the thought processes of a child and how that child matures while doing some potentially dangerous things that have their own set of ramifications.
This book was interesting and well written. The characters were well developed and real, not bowing to stereotypes. The author clearly demonstrated that she understands kids as she spoke through Piper.
This is an excellent book that offers many surprises while keeping true to its audience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Piper Lee DeLuna, 10 is going through the grief process over her father's death. Her father was a pilot who died in an airplane accident. Sadly, the man's body was never found and Piper remains unconvinced that he is really dead.

More than 4 years after the man's death, Piper's mother is getting married again to a prison guard named Ben. Ben has a daughter close in age to Piper and Piper dislikes Ginger and has no use for her. Piper feels her mother is being disloyal to her dead father and tries her darndest to thwart the wedding.

Ginger has also suffered a major loss, but in a different form. Ginger's mother walked out on her family when Ginger was very small and Ginger has long yearned for and searched for someone to fulfill the role of a mother in her life.

Both girls are circling one another, like wary dogs. Each has to ask herself what it is she really wants and what it is she is willing to do to accomplish her goals.

This is a masterfully crafted book that is excellent not only for tweens, but for all ages. The raw, naked emotion and the full development of the characters rings true. This book about remarriage and stepsisters is a far cry from the execrable "Jeanie" by Pardis. You really get the sense that this gifted author "gets it" in re tweens; the girls are very plausible characters and their thoughts and actions are quite realistic.

"A Smidgen of Sky" is a power-packed book replete with every possible emotion and also skillfully discusses very deep and serious topics such as family relationships; changing one's view of themselves and learning how to identify what it is one really wants and having the work ethic to follow through, yet giving oneself time to think through the consequences after some maturation.
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