From School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-An elegant exploration of love and familial relationships. Robbie is looking forward to spending the summer with his grandmother, Maddy. He likes her eccentric stories, he likes that wild animals come right up to her, and he likes how Maddy makes his parents nervous. Robbie often feels that his parents, accomplished professional musicians, love their instruments more than him. Over the course of the summer, Maddy helps him realize that he can be brave enough to express his feelings openly even though his mother might not be capable of saying "I love you" in return. This story is well paced and rhythmic in its dialogue, lending itself well to a group read-aloud. This is a sweet, easy chapter book that teaches children about coming to terms with their own feelings as well as accepting and appreciating others for their own "small truths." -Tiffany O'Leary, Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Master storyteller MacLachlan spins an emotional yarn about the bond between a boy and his grandmother. Feeling distanced from his aloof parents, Robbie is excited to spend the summer with his grandmother Maddy. Even though his parents think Maddy is a bit odd, Robbie knows the truth—that Maddy is special and understands him like no one else. During his time with Maddy, Robbie discovers the truth that is in him—that he is brave, strong, and, most of all, loved. Throughout the summer, Maddy unveils stories about his mother’s past, and Robbie begins to understand the resulting strained relationships. Robbie’s bond with Maddy is a strong one, and readers will relate to their special connection. A spare, poetically composed tale written in short chapters perfect for beginning read-it-alone readers, this should resonate with young and old alike—and makes for a great intergenerational story to share. Grades 2-4. --Sarah Bean Thompson