I’ve been thinking about what makes a book excellent. Not just a good story, or a compelling mystery, but a book that stays in your mind even when you are not actively reading it. The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer is just that kind of book. The language, the phrasing, the use of art and poetry to tell the story are all parts that make this book a satisfying whole. As the book opens, Grace is at her mother’s funeral, sitting beside a grandmother she has never met. She and her mother lived a nomadic lifestyle and to Grace, everything is impermanent, ready to be washed away by the river running through her back yard and the book.
Some lines I loved:
Deep thought: “She reminded me of a thousand-year-old-tree. Her roots went down and her arms went wide and there was no knocking her over with anything less than a bulldozer.”
Cheeky adolescent humor: “Everyone in the class sat there, quiet, giving a moment of silence to the death of Archer’s dignity.”
The author has a comprehensive website. Teachers may want to check out her Curriculum guide. She also offers free Skype chats – perfect for a book group.
Date finished: 10/12/14
Lexile : 820
Interest: grades 6 and up
Publication date: May, 2014