January 22, 2011

Book Talk: Grounded

Daralynn Oakland went fishing at Doc's Lake without asking permission, so she got grounded.  Being grounded is what saved her life.  She was suppose to be in the airplane with her dad, little sister Lilac Rose and brother Wayne that day- the day the plane crashed.  In the book Grounded by Kate Klise, we follow Daralynn during the year after the funeral.  Daralynn watches her mother turn into an angry, bitter woman and she watches her Mamaw turn into a confused old lady who plays with the 237 dolls Daralyn got from people that attended the funeral.  She watches her Aunt Josie fall in love and have her heart broken and she watches her Uncle deal with life after returning from The Vietnam War.  We watch Daralynn deal with the horrible grief of losing so many people she loved.  Her mother won't talk about her brother, sister and father, and Daralynn is afraid she will forget them. Daralynn starts writing letters to her father in a journal she got from her teacher.  The journal lets her talk to her dad in a way she can't talk to her mother.  The journal is also a place where Daralynn records everything she learns as she investigates a stranger who comes to town and turns everyone's life upside down.  This book ends with a twist, and for me, it ends in tears.  This is a beautiful book that explores how 1 young girl deals with grief, and learns how death affects those left behind.  We see Daralynn change over the year that follows the death of her family, and would be a great novel to use when teaching character to older students.  The book takes place during the mid 1970's, but is timeless.  The cover art is stunning, and the title takes on several meanings as your progress through the book. 
(This book reminds me of The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, and adult novel that I enjoyed very much.)

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