Sherrard, Valerie. Tumbleweed Skies. Illustrated by David Jardine. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2010. ISBN 9781554551132. $12.95. 153 p.
Reviewer: Gabi Kupitz
Reading level: Primary
Genre: Fiction; Historical fiction
Subject: Fathers and daughters--Fiction; Grandmothers--Fiction; Loneliness in children--Fiction; Books--Reviews;
“I could tell right away that this wasn't a house that wanted me." It is 1954, and nine-year-old Ellie has come to spend the summer in Saskatchewan with her Grandma and Uncle Roger while her widowed father tries to sell some custom cookware in his assigned territory on the Alberta border. Although Ellie's uncle is a kind soul, Grandma is like a tumbleweed, "looking normal on the outside, but withered up and empty on the inside." She has harbored resentment towards Ellie and her father since the day her daughter ran off to marry, and since she died while giving birth to Ellie, Grandma now holds them responsible for that as well. Despite her Grandma’s prickly nature, adventures on the prairie test the strength of both Ellie, who just needs love, and her Grandma, who needs to learn to open her heart.
This is a touching story that will resonate with fans of Anne of Green Gables and similar stories that examine deep hurt and the redeeming nature of love.
Volume 31, no. 4 (March/April 2011)
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