Parents' Guide to

Some Kind of Happiness

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Adventurous girl uncovers family secrets in engrossing read.

Some Kind of Happiness Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Easy to make a connection

Reading this reminding me of aspects of my own family. The grandmother is very similar to my own with the belief that we have to project to the world that we are all perfect even though no one is or can be. We are all perfectnof course in our own way perfect, but by no means can we fit the mild that someone else has made for us.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (7 ):

In this absorbing story that spans a summer, a young girl exposes long-festering family secrets as she and her cousins dig into local mysteries while also acting out a fantasy story she's written. Finley's a likable narrator who suffers anxiety attacks but manages to be adventurous and open. When she first arrives at her grandparents' house, her family intimidates her. Why do they all seem so perfect? But when she and her cousins explore the forbidden woods that abut the property and come upon a burned-out house, Finley begins to suspect that her family isn't so perfect after all, adding mystery and suspense to the well-drawn family story.

The fantasy story that Finley's writing is woven into the novel in just the right measure. Fin and her cousins are a fun bunch. Neighbor boys whom they're forbidden to play with also turn out to be nice kids with a bit harder row to hoe and provide a sweet hint of youthful romance. There's old-fashioned appeal in the kids roaming free and exploring the outdoors, and while Finley's conflict with her brittle grandma may seem too easily resolved, the story's exceedingly satisfying and well told.

Book Details

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