It is September, 1942, and twelve-year-old Ellen, the narrator of this novel, is worried that, with her father away fighting in World War II, her mother’s depression has almost immobilized her. In desperation, Ellen summons her Aunt Pearl to come to Baltimore to help. Aunt Pearl’s solution is to take Ellen and her mother back to her farm at the base of Snowden Mountain in the Virginia Mountains. Ellen dislikes the whole idea. She does not like the one-room school she has to go to. She worries her mom’s depression is hereditary. How will she pull herself out of this funk and come to appreciate her new life? The author, Jeri Watts, is a 27-year veteran school teacher who lives in Lexington, Virginia, and is a professor at Lynchburg College. This is her second youth novel. Her picture book, A Piece of Home, received an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award.
Somerville, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 2019, 208 pages. Hardback in dust jacket.