Review: Two for Joy

Two for Joy: Gigi Amateau l LadyD Books

Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (June 9, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763630101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763630102

 About 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.

The Friday #56

"Butt! Butt! Baby-Butt!" I called under the sofa. Then I made a kissing sound; I walked all through the house; Butt did not come out."

My Thoughts

This is a nice book for young girls to discover the joy and insights in caring for the elderly, especially when the family member lives in your home. At first, Aunt Tannie doesn't want to leave her large beautiful ranch but the young girl Jenna, and her mom lovingly persuade their great aunt to live with them. Facing a painful broken ankle injury, Aunt Tannie realizes and patiently surrenders to the idea of family support.  Woven throughout the story are difficult issues of emotions for everyone to face, like asking for help and yielding to one another's needs when you don't feel like it or just too busy. Children of multigenerational families will relate to Jenna's attraction to Aunt Tannie's cat, and together their love of soccer and bird watching. Throughout the short easy to read book, you'll find many pencil sketched illustrations to enhance the story. Overall, it's a good book for grades 2-5.

4/5 stars.

About The Author

Gigi Amateau's first book for young adults, Claiming Georgia Tate, was published by Candlewick Press in 2005. That title was selected as a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age and hailed by author Judy Blume: "It's rare and exciting to discover a talented new writer like Gigi Amateau." The Wall Street Journal called the book "an ambitious push into the young adult market."

She is also the author of A Certain Strain of Peculiar, a Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, and Chancey of the Maury River, A William Allen White Masters list title for grades 3-5. Come August, Come Freedom, her first work of historical fiction, was named a 2013 Jefferson Cup Honor title and chosen by Bank Street College as a Best Children's Book of the Year. In 2012, Gigi received a Theresa Pollak Prize for Excellence in the Arts from Richmond magazine.

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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