Parents' Guide to

Soaring Earth: A Companion Memoir to Enchanted Air

By Lucinda Dyer, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Lyrical free-verse memoir set amid turbulent '60s and '70s.

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This captivating free-verse memoir shows the political and social upheavals of the 1960s and '70s, seen through the eyes of a teen struggling to find her own identity. Soaring Earth is filled with historical references, and readers unfamiliar with Cesar Chavez, Haight-Ashbury, the anti-war protests, or the Altamont Speedway Free Festival may find it a bit difficult to put Engle's experiences in context. But all teens should find something relatable in her journey (struggles fitting in, making unfortunate dating choices, pressure to experiment with drugs).

Both parents and teens should read the Author's Note at the end of the book, where Engle reveals an unexpected reason for writing her memoir. She wants to encourage readers to find their own paths when it comes to college, assuring them that they can find an inspiring education not just at a big name university but also at a community college, like the one she credits with giving her a new life and purpose.

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