And it is a fabulous review! Immeasurable gratitude to Ragan O'Malley @ Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, NY, and to School Library Journal. Not familiar with SLJ? Here's a bit about who they are and what they do:
The School Library Journal is a monthly magazine with articles and reviews for school librarians, media specialists, and public librarians who work with young people. Reviews are included for preschool to 4th grade, grades 5 and up, and teens. Both fiction and non-fiction titles are reviewed, as are graphic novels, multimedia, and digital resources. In 2006 School Library Journal had a circulation of 38,000 subscribers and over 100,000 readers.[
School Library Journal readers include library professionals from school and public libraries, as well as educators from preschool to high school, and publishers and vendors with an interest in serving children and young adults. They rely on our publications, events, and research to help navigate the challenges facing their respective institutions, and provide relevant materials and services their communities need.
Because libraries are The. Best. Places. On. Earth.
Here is the review for SIX FEET OVER IT:
Instead of returning home at the end of a summer spent with their grandparents, Leigh and her older sister Kai receive two one-way bus tickets to Hangtown, CA. Their father has bought a graveyard and the family is moving. For the past three years, Leigh has been a stalwart support system for Kia while she battled cancer, and although the cancer is now in remission, Kai’s health feels tenuous. And there’s Emily, Leigh’s best friend, who died over the summer. Her parents are neglectful and disengaged, and her father expects her to work after school in the graveyard office. Longo has crafted a complicated and multilayered narrative, the root of which is the story of a young girl who feels that death follows her. Leigh’s aggressive sarcasm is at first off-putting, but soon it becomes clear that it masks a lot of pain. She resists making friends because she feels that being friends with her is to invite the specter of death. Leigh’s worst fears are confirmed when Dario, the 20-year-old Mexican immigrant who works at the cemetery (and Leigh’s crush), tells her that her birthday, November 1st, is the Day of the Dead in Mexico. Dario says she is like La Caterina, patron saint of the dead. It is through Dario’s friendship, Kai’s love, and the intrepid perseverance of Elanor, a girl who desperately wants to be her friend, that Leigh emerges from her grief and solidly joins the world of the living. An impressive debut novel—simultaneously hilarious, clever, and poignant.–Ragan O’Malley, Saint Ann’s School, Brooklyn, NY
Come on! That is awesome! So grateful for readers, and I am more hopeful each day that SFOI is a book many readers of all ages love and connect with. Okay. Off to write.