My feelings about Kevin Henkes' newest book have been all over the place. I have been anxiously awaiting the release of Junonia for months. And yet, when I first saw it I will admit to being a bit disappointed. I wasn't convinved that this tiny little book would live up to my expectations.
And yet, I need not have worried. Junonia ranks right up there for me with books like Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.
Junonia is a slow novel- and I don't mean that in a bad way. It is the story of Alice, who will be ten, and her parents' trip to Florida, their usual summer destination. Alice looks forward to seeing familiar friends - people she has come to know through their summers together. This summer, however, is different. This summer she will be ten. And perhaps this summer she will find a junonia shell. Of course things don't go quite as Alice planned, and Alice grows up a little during this summer.
I loved Alice and her parents. I loved watching Alice's summer unfold - not what she hoped for- but different, allowing Alice to become a bit more mature. Junonia had a timeless feel to me, a book to be savored years from now by generations of readers.
Oh, what a lovely little book!