Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Willowood

Willowood

Cecilia Galante
Fiction
For ages 9 to 12
Simon and Schuster, 2010   ISBN: 978-1416980223

Lily Sinclair’s mother has moved them from their home in a small town to an apartment in the city, and Lily is not at all happy about the new situation. Not only is the city noisy, dirty, and crowded, but Lily misses her best friend Bailey almost more than she can stand. Things only get worse when Lily attracts the attention of the class bully.

Then a little sunshine breaks through the clouds. First Lily makes friends with Nina, a girl in her class. Then she gets a job at the local pet shop, and she even makes friends with the owner’s son Nate. Nate has Down syndrome and he has the tendency to be rude and unfriendly, but Lily finds away to gain Nate’s trust. In spite of himself, Nate grows to like Lily, and he even goes so far to as to save three newly hatched iguana eggs for his friend so that she can hatch them out.

When Lily learns that Nate is still grieving for his dead mother, she decides to give him a special gift. Unfortunately, her good intentions cause a great deal of trouble and she has to scramble to find a way to put things back to rights before it is too late.

This very special and moving story explores the nature of friendships. The author also looks at the ways in which children sometimes get the wrong ideas about things if the adults in their lives don’t talk to them openly and honestly. Both Lily and Nate struggle as they try to unravel a painful knot in their lives, but in the end they both get the answers that they so desperately need.

 

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