Review of If You Read This

If You Read This If You Read This
by Kereen Getten
Intermediate     Delacorte    176 pp.         g
8/22     978-0-593-17400-5     $16.99
e-book ed.  978-0-593-17401-2    $9.99

Before her death three years earlier, Brie’s mother had planned a surprise twelfth-birthday adventure for Brie and her father at Brim’s Island, Brie’s grandfather’s house “built into the rocks above the sea, and the hidden caves underneath.” Brie and her parents used to spend summers at the house on the Jamaican coast, north of their own home. Brie is thrilled at the thought of the trip but disappointed to learn that her father can’t go with her. “I should be used to this now. This isn’t new; this is all the time. Papa is rarely around: work is always more important than me.” While it’s not the same, her aunt and uncle agree to bring Brie and her friends up the coast. Following clues in a letter from Mama, Brie learns that there’s a special place in Brim’s Island—a spot that was Mama’s secret and that can be hers, too, if she can find it. Mama’s letter says Brie’s grandfather has the key, but Brim, who’s been suffering from memory problems, is in a nursing home and Brie isn’t sure he’ll “remember my name, never mind knowing where the key to the room is.” Getten’s ( When Life Gives You Mangoes , rev. 1/21) descriptions give readers an authentic feel for the setting, as well as for one girl’s experiences of grief and sadness and need for connection.

From the September/October 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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