A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Could lead to some good discussions about grieving, the power of ritual, and the importance of forgiveness.
It's possible to find the home you're looking for. You can learn to forgive when the other person meets you halfway. Even after a tragic personal loss, you can eventually heal.
Positive Role Models
Many of the characters act badly here: Grace's grandmother sent her pregnant daughter away after an accident, and Grace tries to mess up her grandma's home when she's forced to come live with her after her mother's death. But, in the end, her grandmother apologizes and comforts her, and Grace learns to forgive and give people what they need to move on.
Violence & Scariness
Grace's mother dies in an accident. Before she was born, her father and grandfather died in a car accident (and her father's parents died in a fire). A young boy is in remission from cancer. A baby horse has a life-threatening illness.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some innocent crushes. Grace's mom got pregnant with her while she was still a teenager and unmarried.
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Products & Purchases
A few car brands mentioned.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Secret Hum of a Daisy is about a girl forced to live with her estranged grandmother after her mother dies in an accident. There are some intense plot points: Before Grace was born, her father and grandfather died in a car accident (and her father's parents died in a fire); a young boy is in remission from cancer; a baby horse has a life-threatening illness. Also, Grace's mom got pregnant with her while she was still a teenager and unmarried, and her grandmother sent her away. Initially, Grace acts out, but she eventually learns to forgive the grandma who "walked out to meet me halfway" and to begin healing after her mother's tragic death. Reading this book could lead to some good discussions about grieving, the power of ritual, and the importance of forgiveness.
Is It Any Good?
Readers will certainly fall in love with the small town full of quirky, loving characters, but they may not be all that convinced of its believability. THE SECRET HUM OF A DAISY is filled to the brim with plot lines, ranging from Grace's belief that her mother is sending her clues from beyond the grave to the request of her friend Jo's little brother -- whose cancer is in remission -- to have an Egyptian-style entombment party. The author's imaginative details about the nature-inspired art Grace's mother created, or the idyllic park her grandmother helped her community build, will leave readers wishing they could swing by for a visit, even while they'll know such a place couldn't really exist.
What's more real is Grace's grief: Even when the 12-year-old acts up or yells at her grandmother, it's easy to empathize with her as she sorts through complicated feelings of anger, sadness, and even guilt. It's hard not to get a lump in the throat as she and her grandmother get to a place where they can finally begin to heal together.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.