Thursday, July 30, 2009
The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z.
Gianna is just about as scattered as the autumn leaves that she is supposed to be collecting for her science project. Deadlines are just so hard! The only time that her head is clear is when she is out running. Unfortunately, her next track meet could be in jeopardy because of her science project. Her coach lets Gianna know that if she doesn’t turn in her leaf project on time, she will not be running in the sectional meet!
Thankfully Gianna does have some help. Her best friend Zig is pretty much the opposite of Gianna. Organized to a fault, he tries to get Gianna back on track by taking her out on a bike ride and hike that should have Gianna all set.
But Gianna’s dreamy nature, a back stabbing classmate, and some serious troubles at home with her Nonna may just be too much for Gee to handle.
Kate Messner has written a poignant novel about family, friendship, and change. Gianna is so close to her Nonna, and the possible onset of Alzheimer’s is a reality that many families face, but not many kids get to read about in a relevant way. Messner handles this weighty topic with grace. Gianna is a lovely mix of a dreamer, an artist, and an advocate. Messner also excels in her descriptions of Gianna’s Vermont town as well as the market in Montreal. I lived in Montreal for a couple of years during grad school, and the pages describing it had me yearning to go back! Gianna is a girl who readers would like to meet again.