A middle grade novel about family secrets, generational trauma, and the true history of a refugee family that built a community for the waves of refugees that followed them. I highly recommend this one to folks who may be looking for ways to talk with their kids about intergenerational misunderstandings. Sternberg does solid work to establish a standoffish grandmother that is overburdened with the weight of history she feels she cannot share.
A city girl spends the summer in the South and learns the secrets of her estranged extended family.
Catarina has never met her strict Jewish grandmother. But now, with an opportunity to spend three weeks in Baton Rouge and away from her best-friends-turned-bullies, Cat packs her bags and leaves New York City to get to know the woman who has always been a mystery. Down South, she begins working at her grandmother's luxury department store with her rebellious cousin Lexie. Nothing seems to be going right and nobody talks about the past. But just when Cat is starting to think that this whole trip may have been a huge mistake, she stumbles onto a secret from a time her grandmother refuses to speak of. Suddenly Cat's summer, and everything she thought she knew, has changed.
Award-winning author Julie Sternberg tells a tender family story full of humor, heart, and heartbreak that reveals the power of forgiveness and proves it's never too late to start over.
About the Author
Julie Sternberg is the bestselling author of the Eleanor series, which includes Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, a Texas Bluebonnet Award Master list selection and a Gryphon Award winner. Before becoming a writer, Julie worked as a public interest lawyer. Please visit her at juliesternberg.com.
"This thoughtful story is at times melancholy and at times delightfully deadpan. ... Sweet and memorable." --Kirkus Reviews
“An engaging realistic fiction novel about family trauma and healing that will have readers turning pages and wanting more. A solid purchase for libraries.” --School Library Journal
“Much of the charm of this intergenerationally focused story comes from Cat’s humorous epistolary narrative. The autobiographical and emotional roots of Sternberg’s (the Eleanor series) novel rise on the pages, making for a sensitive heroine and a tenderhearted tale sprinkled with Jewish and Creole history.” –-Publishers Weekly