FORGET-ME-NOT BLUE, by Sharelle Byars Moranville, Holiday House, Aug. 8, 2023, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 8-12)
Two siblings fight to stay together when their mother disappears in Forget-Me-Not Blue, by Sharelle Byars Moranville.
Siblings Con and Sofie’s mom promised that nothing would ever come between them — but when she disappears without any warning, she becomes the one who’s tearing them apart.
With no one else to rely on, inseparable siblings Con and Sofie must decide who they can trust, and whether or not it’s safe to share their hearts with family members who have the power to hurt them. Sofie has always turned to Con — and to books — during times of upheaval in their unstable lives. But as their mother is arrested and their guardianship becomes uncertain, Sofie will have to find hope in the most important story of all: her own. —Synopsis provided by Holiday House
Forget-Me-Not Blue is a heartbreaking, but hopeful, read and one that will likely prompt lots of questions/discussions.
At the center of the story is Sofie, a young girl who has grown up faster than any child should. She’s bright and inquisitive and has learned how to work within the system she and Con have created. But that only works until it doesn’t.
Author Sharelle Byars Moranville expertly explores how addiction ripples through generations through prose that is both gentle and vulnerable. Sofie and her family are weighted in authenticity. And Moranville’s study of family bonds is beautifully rendered. Though there are some really tough moments to read in Forget-Me-Not Blue, Moranville tempers them with themes of resilience and strength.
While Forget-Me-Not Blue is written at an age-appropriate level, I suggest reading together with your middle-grader or prior to handing it to them. There’s some heaviness to it that they will most likely want to talk about.
Forget-Me-Not Blue is a worthwhile read that with beautifully realized characters you won’t soon forget.
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