Monday, February 17, 2014

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Serafina's Promise

Today's book is a wonderful novel in verse that was on our shortlist for the Cybils. Speaking of which, did you see who won for middle grade fiction? ULTRA by David Carroll! Congrats to David! See my post on ULTRA here.

by Ann E. Burg
Scholastic Press 2013

From Goodreads:
Serafina has
a secret dream.

She wants to go to school
and become a doctor
with her best friend, Julie Marie.

But in their rural village
outside Port-au-Prince, Haiti,
many obstacles
stand in Serafina’s way--
little money,
never-ending chores,
and Manman’s worries.

More powerful even
than all of these
are the heavy rains
and the shaking earth
that test Serafina’s resolve
in ways she never dreamed.

At once heartbreaking and hopeful,
this exquisitely crafted story
will leave a lasting impression
on your heart.

It takes a special reader to enjoy a novel in verse, one who loves poetry and the lyrical sound of the language of the story. Serafina's Promise has an underlying strength that helps capture the strength and spirit of Serafina herself. Her sense of family and country along with following her dreams makes her a true heroine, even before the other disasters she must face, including flooding and earthquakes and death. How she perseveres living in the poverty and sorrow she faces is truly remarkable. It is a beautiful book. One that I hope many middle graders will read some day.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher as a judge for the Cybils. All opinions are my own.

I hope you all have a great week!