Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 331
A nice book for tweens
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Esme feels alone. Her much-loved grandfather died, her dad deserted the family, her mom has mentally checked out, and her grandmother is a hard woman who doesn't have time for the kindness Esme craves.

When Esme discovers dinosaur bones coming up out of the dirt on the family's peach farm, she feels that she finally has something that is all her own, and she tends to her secret--and to the bones--as all sorts of family and community drama swirls around her.

FINDING ESME is a good book that touches on grief, small town living, and family relationships. There's a bit of magic in the story as both Esme and her grandmother, Bee, have the gift of finding things that people have lost--though it's uncertain that either of them would consider the skill a gift. There are ghosts, too, but the majority of the book is rooted in Esme's struggles to understand everything that's going on with her family and the townspeople while navigating some typical pre-teen concerns.

There is a LOT happening in this book. The number of storylines never becomes overwhelming, but it definitely keeps Esme's story from truly finding its direction. I enjoyed the book, and I thought the writing itself was lovely, but a typical middle grades reader may lose patience with the sometimes-slow pace, the lack of focus, and the number of unresolved narratives.

My thanks to the publisher and YA Books Central for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Good Points
A good book with important themes
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