Delly is a girl who is generally in trouble. She is impetuous and imaginative. She makes up her own language, such as surpresents - presents that are a surprise. She fights with her older sister, knock down drag out fights and isn't afraid to fight at school, but her mother has shed tears over Delly's inability to control her impulses and Delly wants badly to be good.
In her quest to be good, Delly learns skills that help her, she makes a friend, and she helps her friend. RB is the sweetest little brother. She doesn't always want him around, but he loves her so much. Delly has two good parents who help her in her quest.
I found the relationships and behaviors realistic. Ferris Boyd and Brud Kinney are also wonderful characters and the story couldn't work without them.
I gave this book five out of five stars. I think it would be a great book to read as class. It brings up many important issues: consent, impulse control, bullying, abuse, and trust. Katherine Hannigan is a writer who writes middle grade and middle school books well.
Quotes I liked:
"'She doesn't talk,' she reminded him. 'Yes, she does. Just not like you.' Delly couldn't argue with that" (182).
"Then Brud didn't smile, or nod, or write anything. It was all too small for how he felt. He just stared at the sky, thinking, thanks" (221).
"'Delly,' the policewoman said softly, 'do you know why a person stops speaking?' She shook her head. 'It's because she's been hurt so badly she doesn't have words for it. Or somebody's told her he'll hurt her if she talks. She thinks her voice can't help her"' (336).
Read to a child today even if that child is you.
Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.