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Reviewed by Janelle Alex, Ph.D. for Readers' Favorite
The Staircase on Pine Street is a gripping and heartwarming story. Yet, it is also a heart-wrencher. Mariana Llanos paints a tender picture of what so many families go through. A young, school-age girl named Lilly watches her paternal grandfather move through the stages of Alzheimer’s. Slowly, but surely it takes the grandfather she has been very close to away from her. Lilly wants to create a cure for him, but she is only an elementary student after all. However, in the midst of the Alzheimer’s taking its toll, her grandfather discovers he has a fun mystery for Lilly to solve. She solves the mystery, but will she get to share it with her grandfather or will it be too late?
Mariana Llanos has written a wonderful book to share with school-age children. It brought tears to my eyes, yet I believe it is wonderful to read to all elementary age children, whether or not they personally know someone who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The Staircase on Pine Street offers parents a wonderful opportunity to teach their children about love and the aging process. For those who would like to incorporate faith or spirituality into what they teach their children, I feel this book is a shining example. Trust in love. Trust in the unseen. Trust in the potential hidden treasures that can be discovered. As a home-school mom, I can hardly wait to prepare a lesson around this book and share it with my 3rd grade son.