First, she has to put up with them both looking down their noses at the "hillbillies" who live in April's little corner of the world. When the shack the St. James' have bought is deemed unlivable by April's mother, the snooty folks move into April's home - which means she has to share a room with her unbearable older sister, Myra Sue.
Then, Mama Grace, the grandmother April Grace adores, starts dating Ole Mr. Rance, and April's sure the man is up to no good - but who will listen to a kid?
One way or another, April Grace will dig up the truth, learn she has to accept the faults of others... and very possibly both.
What I Like: I fell in love with this character before I even opened the book. The description on the back cover did full justice to the April Grace I met in the book's pages. She is a spunky eleven year old who loves her parents and her grandmother, and merely puts up with her fourteen year old sister, Myra Sue. Her opinions about others are varied and colorful, usually with an Ozark twist... like the OLD hippies Temple and Forest who live nearby and their lack of showering.
"I like Temple just fine. She's real nice, and so is Forest, but they are strange and weird and they don't believe in things like deodorant and toothpaste or having regular jobs." (pg. 51)It's obvious the family isn't overly preachy in their ways. However, when it is more than appropriate, discussions of what the Bible says are woven in brilliantly. For instance, April and her grandmother, Mama Grace, talk of the way April's parents treat others - like Ian and Isabel St. James - when the new people in town have done nothing to deserve the Reilly's kindness. Mama Grace points to 1 Corinthians 13, or the Love Chapter ("love is patient, love is kind...") to illustrate how April's parents take things to heart - and how April should do the same.
What I Dislike: This is a very minor thing. The book is set in 1986, but really, it could've been set in the present day. Other than a few references to Murder, She Wrote and terry cloth shorts (who remembers THOSE?), you wouldn't really know it's supposed to happen 25 years ago.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: 9 and up (and I'd highly encourage you borrow it from your daughter's library!)
Publisher Info: Thomas Nelson, 2011; ISBN: 978-1-4003-1722-6; Paperback, 288 PGS., $9.99
Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $8.19 or $7.19 as an e-book,
OR Buy it at Amazon.com for $9.99 or for the Kindle for $7.19.
Special Info: This is the first book in the "Confessions of April Grace" series by Ms. McCrite.