Parents' Guide to

Counting Thyme

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Sensitive, engaging tale of girl with seriously ill brother.

Counting Thyme Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 10+

A younger brother with neuroblastoma

This is a very good book about a very difficult subject. Thyme has to reach into her heart to help her cancer-riddled little brother who is undergoing treatment while she is trying to cope with the family's recent move from California to New York City, loss of friends, a new school, and highly preoccupied parents. The story is told in a very sensitive way, and I liked that Thyme is shown to be a very real and thoughtful girl.
age 9+

Several Good Themes of Change and Sacrifice

I enjoyed my preview read of this book for my students. None of the themes were beyond their age range, and I did care about the characters enough to feel emotion.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (2):

A girl deals with her brother's serious illness in this sensitively written, fully fleshed out middle-grade novel that's both a portrait of a family under stress and an engaging coming-of-age story. There's some technical medical information, skillfully explained, about the boy's cancer and his treatments. The stresses on the family are credibly written -- the parents, though loving, are consumed with the boy's care, so Thyme and her teen sister, Cori, get short shrift.

The family story's braided with chapters that will resonate more broadly with readers and their everyday experiences. Thyme has to adjust to her new public middle school, where she encounters mild bullying, cliques, a Queen Bee and the girls who buzz around her, and also experiences her first crush and the seeds of new friendships we know will blossom. The portraits of this girl, her family, and New York City, are very real, and the tone is hopeful. The moving takeaway is that families need to pull together to help their most vulnerable members.

Book Details

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