Two for Joy

 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
1099 0
two for joy.jpg
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
6+
Release Date
June 09, 2015
ISBN
9780763630102
Buy This Book
      
When an adored—and very independent—aunt suffers a fall and comes to live with them, Jenna and her mom discover what makes a family bond unbreakable. Eight-year-old Jenna is dreaming of playing Olympic soccer when the phone call wakes her. Great-Great Aunt Tannie has broken her ankle, and Jenna’s worried mom decides Tannie should move in with them. Tannie is no delicate old lady—she does heavy chores on her Virginia farm, drives a huge pickup, and even rides her own motorcycle. Plus she’s full of joie de vivre, given to kicking a soccer ball and teaching Jenna all about the birds she’s collected on her life list. Jenna’s excited to have her favorite aunt and cat, Butt, come to stay, but with so many changes to get used to, tempers around the house soon start to flare. Maybe with all the caring and being taken care of, they’ve forgotten what Tannie is still so good at—and neglected to have any fun. In a familiar story told through a child’s eyes, Gigi Amateau reminds us that everyone needs help sometimes, especially those who least expect it.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Perfect for families in an adjustment period
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
3.0
Jenna’s Great Aunt Tannie isn’t doing so well. After a series of accidents, Jenna’s mom decides to ask Tannie if she will move in with them, where she can help Tannie out. Tannie is reluctant at first but agrees, and Jenna’s household will have to get used to the new adjustments.

What I Loved:
For any child that has lived with an elderly or not in the best health family member, TWO FOR JOY will feel very familiar. Kids may or may not always comprehend the full logistics of the situation, but there is no doubt many like Jenna are keenly aware that things have changed and that kindness is needed more than anything. Her growth from expecting her Tannie to be able to do all the exciting physical things they did in the past to recognizing that Tannie may not be capable of doing them is very touching. Jenna supplies a wonderful brightness in her family, full of encouragement and hope, while never being overly naïve.

The author captures the frustrations that any household adjustment can catalyze perfectly. Grace, Jenna’s mom, puts all the weight on her shoulders, and naturally, other responsibilities take a hit. Meanwhile, Tannie is used to a lifetime of being strong and independent, so being watched after is a sometimes uncomfortable experience. At the heart of this story is a great message about the importance of families working together, being healthily interdependent, and being honest with each other.

What Left me Wanting More:
Though I enjoy the premise immensely, the plot feels a bit flat. A good chunk of the first part of the story is spent preparing to ask Tannie to move in with them, so the reader doesn’t see as much of the full household as possible. This makes the beginning feel a bit slow, though the story definitely does pick up once Tannie arrives.

The illustrations are beautifully drawn, full of great detail, but the heavy use of the gray color scheme gives a darker feel to the book than the story suggests.

Final Verdict:
Families who actively look after their older generations should grab TWO FOR JOY immediately. From a young girl’s perspective, this story gives remarkable insight into a family whose dynamics are changing.
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