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Reviewed by Lesa McKee for Readers' Favorite
Picture Imperfect is a touching story by Susan Thogerson Maas about twelve-year-old Jada Jane (nicknamed JJ) during a difficult period of her life. It all starts when JJ’s somewhat thoughtless Aunt Lissa moves in, not only invading her family’s home, but JJ’s own room. It’s a constant battle between the two, when JJ’s aunt won’t help around the house, and keeps forgetting to shut the door which allows JJ’s precious cat, Tasha, to escape. It’s a good thing JJ has her beloved Gram to turn to. It’s only through her Gram’s help that JJ’s able to keep her cool. Gram has so much to teach her … the importance of God and family, even about her passion, photography. With a big photography contest coming up, JJ needs all the help she can get.
Susan Thogerson Maas has woven a dramatic coming-of-age tale with touches of humor worthy of tweens’ bookshelves everywhere. This author knows how to write about relationships. Picture Imperfect captures the up and down emotions of the middle grade age range perfectly. JJ and her best friend Kat’s friendship was refreshingly authentic. It was fun to watch these two super sleuths in action! JJ and Gram had a special connection through Gram’s art and JJ’s photography. I felt the love they had for one another, even tearing up on occasion. JJ learns some valuable life lessons from her dear Gram. This story has a great balance of elements … drama, humor, pain, sadness, joy, and a little bit of mystery. It kept me turning the pages well into the night!