Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Under the Bottle Bridge by Jessica Lawson

She and her uncle have a good life together.  She doesn't know who her father is and her mother died when she was very young.  She thought she was well adjusted and things were fine until she found a bottle with a note in it under the bridge she hangs out on...

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 5th.

The notes in the bottle are cryptic and short.  She's not totally sure what they mean.  But she knows it's tied to her mother because that was the bridge she died on.

This is really a tale of a young girl coming of age and struggling with changes in her life.  Her uncle is looking for a good job to support them.  It may mean moving.  She doesn't want to move.  She's also supposed to be putting together a project for the artisan contest.  She has no inspiration there but she knows she could get a trip to New York for winning and that might help them stay in town.  In the meantime, she has one good friend and is working on making another.  But everything keeps going wrong.

She finds that most of the old buildings in town have initials and dates from her relatives in the past.  She even finds words carved in the old bridge showing her mother was there.  Then the boy she's friends with sets their barn on fire by accident and ruins both craft projects she and her uncle were working on.  That means they can't enter the contest.  It looks like all hope is gone.  

It does all work out but it takes her standing up to save her town from subdivision and to keep the forest everyone loves.  She finds more out about life and her home is safe again.  She might have moe questions but I think she's content with what she has learned.

You could feel the doubt, trauma and love in this story.  I was hoping for good things for Minna and the author didn't disappoint me.

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