Kid Konnection: Quaking
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.