Thursday, 20 June 2013

Better to Wish (Family Tree #1) by Ann M. Martin

Published: April 30 2013 by Scholastic Press
Pages: 226
Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange for honest review
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Four generations. Four girls. One family.
An amazing new four-book series from Ann M. Martin.

In 1930, Abby Nichols is eight, and can't imagine what her future holds. The best things today would be having a dime for the fair, keeping her Pops from being angry, and saving up eighty-seven cents to surprise her little sister with a tea set for Christmas.

But Abby's world is changing fast. Soon there will be new siblings to take care of, a new house to move into, and new friends to meet. But there will also be good-byes to say and hard choices to make. As Abby grows older, how will she decide what sort of life will fit her best?

In this incredible new series, bestselling author Ann M. Martin brings the past and the present together one girlhood at a time and shows readers the way a family grows.


I will have to admit that this is my first middle grade book that I have read in a while, and it will not be my last, it reminded me what I love about middle grade so much. The writing is very simple, but there is always really good lessons for kids in them, and some lessons that I think (some) adults need to be reminded of!

What I really liked about this book was looking back at what life was like starting in the 30's, no computers, cell phones, etc that make life feel so rushed now a days. The mothers made the daughter their dresses, unless they were wealthy enough to go to the store and buy a dress. The games the kids would make up and play outside (something I think kids do not do enough of these days at all!), how going to a fair with a dime would last you for a few hours, going to the drug store with your friend for an ice cream scoop. I am sure that there were draw backs, but life just seemed a little simpler back then, less stressful.

I really enjoyed reading about Abby and her family, and even though it was a very different time period, the same kinds of situations happen now, for example, once Abby's father starts getting more work, he feels the need to "prove" to society that he is making it, and that they are now part of the wealthy crowd by buying the kids flashy gifts, and moving in to a big house, and hiring a maid. Abby picks up on this, and wishes that they could have stayed in their own home and that her dad would pay attention to her more, and know what she wanted for her birthday.

There is a lot of family drama in this book, and it was great to see Abby grow through the book, and come to be her own person. Also I cannot wait to read more about this family in the future books, it seems like it is going to be a great series. The events that happen in this book are things that happen all the time now, so I think kids will be able to relate to this book for sure. I give this a 4/5, and am really looking forward to more!

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