I'm always on the lookout for great tween realistic fiction novels for my daughters. These are the types of books I loved when I was growing up, and despite my best efforts at reading from a wide variety of genres, realistic fiction is often what my oldest daughter wants. (Scary how that apple doesn't fall far from the tree!)
A Smidgen of Sky, a debut novel by Dianna Dorisi Winget, due out in November, is a perfect tween read. Piper Lee DeLuna is still struggling to come to terms with her pilot-father's untimely death. Because he died in a plane crash and his body was never found, she is sure he is alive somewhere and will eventually come back to her. Over the course of the four years since the accident, Piper's mother has moved on, and is now engaged to be married to Ben. Not only is Piper not excited about Ben replacing her father, Ben's daughter, Ginger, is not someone Piper wants to get to know or hang out with.
Ginger has always wanted a mother and she and Piper try to find Ginger's mom. She left when Ginger was very young, not ready to be a mom yet. When Piper locates her it is hard to decide if she is doing this for Ginger or herself.
Winget's novel is full of lots of important lessons - from an awareness of online predators to lessons about love, family, and dealing with loss, A Smidgen of Sky is one I will be giving to my daughter to read, buying for my school library, and telling others about. I am hopeful Winget plans on writing more books geared toward this audience.