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Reviewed by Kayla Globerson for Readers' Favorite
Kaleidoscope Me, by Hillary K. Grigonis, is about how a family copes with the tragic loss of a mother and wife. The book moves back and forth between the present and moments of time before and slightly after the tragedy. Jadyn, the main character, must cope with not only her mother’s loss, but the loss of all that was once normal. Her father works long hours to avoid coming home to painful reminders, and her brother Trenton plays video games rather than talk about how he’s dealing with the loss. To add insult to injury, their Great Aunt Nadine, who shows early signs of Alzheimer’s, was brought in to “watch” the children and care for the house. Through heartbreak, these characters learn to value what’s most important in life, family.
Kaleidoscope Me is is a simply written story, but it is perfect for young preteens. The style of writing is not complex, the characters’ emotions are easily identifiable, and the story line for the most part can be followed with relative ease. I would comment on the flow of the story, in that flipping back between the present, six months ago, two weeks ago, the present, five months ago, and so on, was a little difficult to keep up with, especially if I put the book down for a few hours. However, because this book can be easily read in a day or two, I would recommend taking a few hours to curl up with this book, escape for a little while, and get lost in this family’s tale of heartbreak and survival.