Hey, Squinklebooks Squad! I’ve got a great new book to recommend to you today. Always, Abigail is a fantastic twist on the epistolary novel, and I think you’re really going to love it. Who doesn’t love making lists to be more organized? Nancy J. Cavanaugh has found a great way to engage both bookworms and reluctant readers alike by telling Abigail’s story in amusing, delectable bites. So, to take a leaf from her book (get it, Squinks?):
Two Things I Loved About Always, Abigail
1. The plot is believable and relatable. I don’t know anyone out there, girl or boy, who hasn’t experienced the drama of middle school. My own middle-school experience was so colourful that I can pinpoint sixth grade as a defining year in my emotional growth. Just like with Abigail, it was the year that began so promisingly, unravelled rapidly, and then ended with a few surprises. I completely understand Abigail’s dilemma of trying to hang on to AlliCam whilst knowing that they were growing further and further apart. And who wouldn’t have a hard time accepting a Gabby Marco as the teacher’s purposeful choice of Friendly-Letter-Assignment partner? Gabby is a great character and, in some ways, is the star of the show for me. She’s funny, rational, and authentic. And, to be honest, I saw so much of my grade-6 self in her that I felt sad saying goodbye to her at the end. I wonder if Cavanaugh will tell her story someday, too.
2. Cavanaugh’s voice is so well developed. It really felt like Abigail was talking to me, and when the novel ended, I could still hear her making lists in my head. Readers often take it for granted that different characters will sound differently from one another, but we forget that it requires talent, which Cavanaugh has in spades, to make this skill seem effortless yet effective.
Squinks, pick up this book: it will give you a glimpse into the grade-6 world of modern times. Parents, this is a great segue into the topics of conformity, (mild) peer pressure, and dealing with classmates who are different in one way or another.
Nancy J. Cavanaugh’s Online Corners
Thank you, Sourcebooks, for sending me a copy of Always, Abigail.
All opinions and suggestions expressed herein are entirely my own;
I received no compensation for them.