Dianna Winget’s ‘Smidgen of Sky’ celebrates families


A SMIDGEN OF SKY,” by Dianna Marie Winget, Harcourt Children’s Books, Nov. 6, 2012, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 9 and up)

Ten-year-old Piper Lee DeLuna is getting a new family. Not that she wants or thinks she needs one. It’s all her mother’s doing. Now she’s going to have a prison-guard stepfather and a very girlie stepsister, Ginger.

Piper Lee thinks her family was doing just fine before Ginger and her dad entered the picture. Piper Lee’s daddy disappeared four years ago. His plane went missing, and he was never found. In Piper Lee’s mind, that means he could still be out there, still want to be part of her family.

The only way to return things to the status quo is to get the wedding called off, and Piper Lee has the perfect plan to accomplish just that. Except, her plan isn’t so perfect, and maybe, just maybe, she cares more about her new family than she thought.

“A Smidgen of Sky” is a character-driven read told in Piper Lee’s Southern voice. Piper Lee knows — or at least thinks she knows — what she wants and isn’t afraid to push for it. Her tomboy demeanor is in perfect juxtaposition to Ginger’s cheerleading, froofy personality. Piper Lee’s gentle, and work-worn mother has a quiet strength and Ginger’s father has a good read on the people around him.

Family and all the complexities that make up such a unit are central to “A Smidgen of Sky.” Family is what drives the characters and the decisions they make.

“A Smidgen of Sky” isn’t a particularly fast moving book, though it does have a nice flow to it. It’s a good choice for young readers who want something beyond princesses and fairy tales and would be a good choice for children and parents in soon-to-be or newly formed combined families.

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About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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