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Kid Konnection: Quaking

September 8, 2012

After some violence in her past, Matilda, or Matt as she prefers to be called, has been shuffled around from relative to relative.

Fran Newton went on being nice for so long that I dreaded the end more and more.  I finally had to escape her, before she escaped me.  I had to be harsh.  It was better for her in the long run, anyway.  She was too sweet and delicate.  Eventually, I would have disappointed her.  I had to move myself on the “Home” number four.

Home number four belongs to Sam and Jessica, a young Quaker couple who can’t have children of their own.  They’re foster parents to a disabled toddler and they lovingly welcome Matt in their home.  Matt finds them a little strange and resists their overtures.  When she encounters a bully and a war monger teacher at school, she starts to think that Sam and Jessica just might be on to something with their peaceful attitudes.

Quaking, by Kathryn Erskine, is set during the war in the Middle East and Matt finds herself living in a town divided by the war.  When things start to escalate and Matt perceives that Sam and Jessica may be in danger, she starts to question her feelings for them.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though there were a few details that didn’t seem quite right to me.  I was able to overlook those things and just enjoy the book for what it was.

Matt was a fabulous character.  She’s tough on the exterior but not so tough inside.  She’s just hoping to make it through high school so she can escape to Canada and leave all of her problems behind.  Of course, that’s easier said than done.

I thought the title of this book was perfect.  Sam and Jessica are Quakers and Matt would quake inside whenever she would remember things from her past or get scared.  I think this is the first time I’ve ever encountered characters who are Quakers and I have to admit that I know very little about the church.  Reading this book made me curious about the religion and I found myself reading more about it.

I really enjoyed Quaking and found the book to be very compelling.  I like the fact that it made me think and do research on a subject I didn’t know much about.  I think it would be a great pick for a book club or a classroom setting – there are even discussion questions listed in my copy of the book.

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.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2012 6:12 am

    Sounds interesting. I never heard of that religion, but I can see that after reading this book you want to know more about it. Great review.

  2. September 8, 2012 10:30 am

    I’ve never read about Quakers before. This sounds like an interesting book.

  3. September 8, 2012 11:28 am

    I think I would really like reading this one, partly because of my work experience with kids from foster homes and the book’s premise. And the book cover catches my attention. Great review!

  4. Patty permalink
    September 8, 2012 9:13 pm

    It does sound really good…I am off to find it now.

  5. September 9, 2012 7:03 am

    This sound like something I would like. My area has an active Quaker community so I bet this would available at the library.

  6. bookingmama permalink
    September 9, 2012 7:53 pm

    Sounds wonderful! And you’re right about it touching upon topics that are discussion worthy.

  7. September 10, 2012 3:40 am

    I haven’t heard of this book before but it sounds great. It’s nice when you are inspired to research a subject after reading an interesting book.

  8. September 10, 2012 9:05 pm

    books that make me do more research are winners for me!! This one sounds pretty interesting. I need to read it!

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