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Kid Konnection: The Sky is Everywhere

November 20, 2010

Seventeen-year old Lennon (or Lennie, as she is usually called) is devastated by the unexpected death of her beloved older sister.   The girls had an unusually strong bond because they were abandoned by their mother years ago, so they live with their grandmother and uncle.  It’s not that life’s bad with them, it’s just that they wonder about their mother.  In her grief, Lennie writes poetry and scatters it around town.  She turns her back on those who love her and turns to the one person she shouldn’t because she thinks he’s the only one who will understand that she’s alone in her grief.  When a great new guy moves to town, it only adds to her confusion.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson is a beautifully written YA novel that does a wonderful job of expressing emotions that are felt so strongly by teen-agers.   There is poetry that even I could appreciate scattered throughout the book.  The title of the book comes from this lovely line:

Years ago, I was crashed in Gram’s garden and Big asked me what I was doing.  I told him I was looking up at the sky.  He said, “That’s a misconception, Lennie, the sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.”

I thought Lennie was a fantastic character and so true to life.  She’s self absorbed without being selfish; confused and not sure where to turn.  She’s expressive and curious.   A discovery she makes causes her to realize what really matters to her in life and she does some growing up, but it’s a gradual process that has been building throughout the book.  When she thinks of her sister, she says:

I don’t believe time heals.  I don’t want it to.  If I heal, doesn’t that mean I’ve accepted the world without her?

This book is recommended for ages 14 and up and I think many teens will be able to relate to the emotions Lennie feels.  Her feelings are real and deep without being full of angst like they are in so many teen characters these days.  I liked this book a lot and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to teens and up – many adults will find lots to love in this book too.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
18 Comments leave one →
  1. givingreadingachance permalink
    November 20, 2010 6:05 am

    That is a beautiful book. And the quotes you have mentioned are awesome.
    I would definitely want to read this and maybe gift i to my teenaged cousins.

  2. November 20, 2010 6:36 am

    This indeed sounds like a lovely book. I had to laugh at this line: “There is poetry that even I could appreciate”! I suspect you appreciate and understand poetry quite well.

  3. November 20, 2010 7:51 am

    This is a neat concept. Lately, I’ve found myself gravitating toward books based in letter, poems and other snippets, whether the whole book is written in shorts or just largely hinges on smaller bits. Thanks for sharing this. I’ll have to check it out.

  4. November 20, 2010 8:44 am

    I could be way off base here, but does the writing remind you a little bit of Beth K? I have a copy of this one and I’m sure I would like it.

  5. November 20, 2010 10:07 am

    I like the book quotes you chose. I have this one and I am now even more eager to get it to my “short list” on the TBR pile. 🙂

  6. November 20, 2010 12:35 pm

    Lennie sounds like a great character. I am glad you enjoyed this one, Kathy!

  7. November 20, 2010 2:06 pm

    I adored this book. So beautifully written and straightforward with its plot. I enjoyed it a great deal.

  8. November 20, 2010 3:44 pm

    How sad to have been abandoned by her mother and then suffer the loss of a close sister. This sounds like a touching book for teens. Will add to wishlist.

  9. November 20, 2010 4:06 pm

    This sounds really good. Sort of like Beth Kephart’s Dangerous Neighbors…

  10. November 20, 2010 4:57 pm

    great review. I have seen this one around and it does seem to be like

  11. November 20, 2010 7:16 pm

    Thanks for this review Kathy.
    This sounds like a YA novel that could help teens deal with grief and loss in an uplifiting way. Definitely worth checking out.

  12. November 20, 2010 8:44 pm

    The quotes you excerpted were really moving, and it sounds like this would make a great and sensitive read. I am going to have to look for this one for Melissa. It seems like a great book that we could both share together. Thanks for the awesome review on this one and for the enticement!

  13. November 20, 2010 9:16 pm

    This sounds like an amazing book. Thanks for the great review.

  14. November 21, 2010 12:20 am

    I love the passages you quoted. “…the sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.” And I suppose this is where the book got the title. I like its sensitivity and it’s one that I’d love to get my hands on. I think I have a lot of books to look forward to reading in 2011.

  15. November 21, 2010 11:40 am

    A good character who isn’t perfect – sounds like one I’d like to read about.

  16. November 21, 2010 1:12 pm

    The last quote from the book made me want to weep for her loss. Powerful and poetic enough for me to now look into this for my upcoming reads.

    Great review as always Kathy. Catching up and your blog and enjoying it on my lazy Sunday.

    PS Chili recipe will be given a try next weekend 🙂

  17. November 21, 2010 6:48 pm

    I’ve read several good reviews on this so I definitely look forward to reading it.

  18. November 22, 2010 1:33 pm

    Sounds worth checking out. I love the quote.

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