Kathryn Fitzmaurice's lovely debut novel is distinctively Californian in its flavor. Her rich characters and strong sense of place feel both familiar and fresh at first meeting--and worth revisiting, again and again.
My Two Cents: This is a lovely book that's not loud or overbearing, set firmly and beautifully on the California coast. Groovy has a realistic set of problems and a realistic set of strengths, and the way both develop over the pages of this book are really touching. A great lesson in loving, accepting, and forgiving imperfect parents, being a loyal friend, and pursuing your passions.
Grade Level: 3-6
- Kathryn Fitzmaurice's website, including discussion questions
- An article for kids on the swallows--and how they're starting to skip San Juan Capistrano
- Recipe for Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pops (I think Groovy would approve!)
- Earthquake overview, facts, and activities
- A fun migratory bird game--it's like Oregon Trail for birds! :)
More to Read:
- Another book with a strong heroine where both animals and a complicated parental relationship factor in: Notes from a Liar and Her Dog by Gennifer Choldenko
- Another seaside story about a young girl figuring out her place in the world: Junonia by Kevin Henkes
- Another book with a strong sense of place and a girl who finds strength beyond her family: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron