Friday, January 8, 2016

The Way to Stay in Destiny

With the coming of a New Year, I've decided to post book reviews on a weekly basis. Look for book talk, author interviews and other book-related stuff on Fridays. Starting with...

The Way to Stay in Destiny
by Augusta Scattergood
192 pages; ages 8-12
Scholastic Press, 2015

January is such a perfect month to curl up with a good book. So for the next few Mondays, I'll be digging into my book basket for some longer reads, both fiction and non.

I was pulled into this book by the first line: The crazy lady in seat 2B hasn't stopped singing "You Are My Sunshine" since the glare hit the windshield three hours ago. When the bus pulls to a stop in Destiny, Theo grabs his bags and baseball glove and follows his uncle out the door and into the Florida heat. He sees old men wearing shorts and flip flops... and slithery gray stuff hanging from the trees. What am I doing here? Theo wonders.

Sharing a room with his uncle at Sister Grandersole's Rooming House and Dance Academy, doing the laundry on Saturdays, finding some unexpected friends, and discovering he has an ear for the piano - that's what Theo's doing in Destiny. And then there's the history of baseball tied up with the history of the town: did Hank Aaron really play there?

Add to that the mystery of interpersonal relationships: Who is this girl who ditches dance class to play ball? Can Theo manage to play the piano when his uncle expressly forbids it? And why is his uncle so angry?

This book is a perfect blend of mystery and adventure, and a warm story about what it means to be family.

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