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Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd)
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Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  42 reviews
A Publishers Weekly and Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Year about Wren Jo Byrd, a nine-year-old introvert whose life has gone topsy-turvy ever since her dad moved out.

"By turns heartbreaking and heartwarming--exactly like real life. Julie Bowe takes on the tough questions about what it means to be honest, to be a good friend, and to be a family, and offers answers that, w
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Kathy Dawson Books
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  182 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Kelly Gunderman
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Check out this and other reviews on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd) is a delightful book that deals with a common family issue in a realistic and important way.

For any child who has ever been in the middle of parents who are divorcing, it can be a scary and trying time. There are so many questions, and kids can often be left wondering if it is their fault, or whether or not the parents are going to get back together and fix th
Ms. Yingling
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Wren has had to spend the summer with her grandparents because her parents are divorcing, and she is too scared to tell her best friend Amber why she had to be gone, so didn't even explain why she had to miss Amber's birthday party. In Wren's absence, Amber has become good friends with the new girl, Marianna. Marianna lives in a big house and is very stylish and snobby-- she calls Wren "Tweety" in a mean way that she claims is joking. The school year is dif
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First sentence: Lots of things have changed since my last first week of school.

Premise/plot: Wren Jo Byrd is the heroine of Julie Bowe's newest book, Big & Little Questions. She has had a whole summer to get used to the idea of her parents getting a divorce, but, she hasn't really accepted it and is not willing to talk about it. She's spent most of the summer out of town, and, she hasn't spoken to--or texted--her best, best friend, Amber. Wren wants to reconnect with Amber now that school has st
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Wren JoByrd mind is full of questions. She has had so many changes in her life that she is trying to figure it all out. Her biggest question is how to still have a family when her parents are divorcing. On top of that she missed hanging out with all her friends this summer, especially her best friend Amber. When Wren starts school she expects Amber to still be her best friend. Unfortunately, Marianna, the new girl is all Amber talks about and wants to be with. Unlike Wren, Marianna is a talkativ ...more
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Unexpectedly sweet story about keeping secrets, and sharing secrets. And asking lots of questions. And creating book nooks.
When her parents told nine-year-old Wren they were getting a divorce, they said it had nothing to do with her. But it feels like it has everything to do with her. She's the one who has to eat dinner at a desk in her mom's office now, instead of at the dining room table. She's the one who has to split her time between two houses and two parents. She's the one who has somehow lost her best friend. While her parents were working out the details of their divorce, Wren was sent to stay with her grand ...more
Beth Rodgers
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
'Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd)' by Julie Bowe follows nine-year-old Wren as she navigates life after her parents' divorce. Having gone away for the summer without telling any of her friends why, she is hesitant to share that her parents have decided to get a divorce. Adding insult to injury is the fact that her supposed best friend, Amber, has made a new best friend, Marianna, and doesn't seem to want to have anything to do with Wren.

Even though Wren is keeping a secret from
Melanie Dulaney
Wren Byrd is a third grader with lots of questions. She wonders about divorce and which house to draw on her "All About Me" poster on the first day of third grade. Her best friend seems to have replaced her with the new girl at school and she doesn't know what to do. And she is trying to figure out if she actually lying when she lets everyone assume that her family is still together and life is moving along like it always has. Middle elementary school readers everywhere will see some of their ow ...more
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the story. From my own view to the book, I noticed how someone's life might change from a happy moment to a sad confusing moments in an instant, things might get twisted without our expectations, which makes the blow so hard to accept. That's what Wern faced, it might seem little things to other people who didn't experience such a confusing life, but to someone like Wern who actually experienced her parents situation, it was a big deal. Her mind kept questioning everything happening in ...more
Melanie Coombes
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a story about dealing with change. Nine year old Wren learns her parents are getting a divorce and struggles to figure out how to deal with this. Then, on top of this devastating news, her best friend Amber is now snubbing her for the new student, Marianna.
Since Bryd's parents have not openly told anyone about the divorce, Bryd does the same. Soon her small lie turns into a bigger and bigger one that threatens to cause even bigger issues.
I think this was a very good book for third and
Alexa Hamilton
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: tween, kids-books
I'm really glad there are still good books addressing divorce out there--sometimes I think we don't remember what a hard time this can be for kids, and I think Wren's experience is not special. She doesn't want to tell everyone because she's upset and worried about what the other girls will think. She definitely has a lovely bunch of friends in the end. Though they do a few mean girl things, in the end, they love each other and their friendships more than anything. Very sweet and lots of emotion ...more
Danielle Hammelef
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This author captured an authentic voice of a young girl whose parents are divorcing. I love Wren and how she dealt with her big family changes, her friends, and telling the truth/dealing with consequences of lying. Her questions are some other kids are asking too and this is a highly recommended book for anyone, even if you don't have to deal with separated or divorcing parents, because it will make you a better friend to someone who is going through this tough time.
Tara Ethridge
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a perfect book for kids who are just ready to jump into more complex chapter books. Wren’s parents are getting a divorce, and she doesn’t want to tell anyone, so she starts a series of lies so others don’t find out. And, the annoying new girl turns out to be the only person she can trust with her secret. Told in such a tender way about a hard topic, this is a great realistic fiction for third grade and up.
Miss Sarah
Wren Jo Byrd and her family are going gt through big changes and she has lots of questions about the changes. Can her new friend help her or is keeping everything to herself the best option? This is a great recommendation for a child experiencing divorce. It presents real life questions and while things get wrapped up it's not perfect. Just like life. Upper Elementary
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book teaches a very valuable lesson that I haven't found in another book for this age yet. It teaches that things aren't what they always appear to be. The grass isn't always greener on the other side. Amber isn't the only one unhappy with her life and hiding secrets. This book teaches that life becomes easier when we share our problems with others as we are usually not alone.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderfully written story about a young girl who's life just shifted in a huge way. She has so many questions and hardly any answers about her parents divorce. It's a hard time for her and we get a clear glance into what divorce can do to a child.
C. L.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Simple, but very, very good. The protagonist is nine-years-old, and the author has effectively tapped into the emotions, thought processes, and social shuffling of that developmental stage. A straightforward book about how two different girls deal with divorce, it was a little hard for me to buy that parents separating would be such a taboo in this day and age (or that the main character wouldn't already know several people whose parents were split up), but it can be hand-waved away as young kid ...more
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
Divorce is a big deal, and it totally changes your world. But what if you can keep it a secret? From your new teacher, your friends, and even yourself?
Allison Renner
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tween
This is a great middle grade book about dealing with divorce, friendships, and all the changes that happen at this age. The characters were very well-developed.
Sara Truog
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile
A 9-year-old girl whose parents divorce decides to keep the event a secret.
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it, but it wasn't a standout.
Afton Nelson
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Great voice and a lot of heart. This one had me turning the pages.
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book for middle school age children. The book title sums it up. The character deals and tries to understand the decisions of divorce.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet and sad. The story of Wren, 9 years old and reeling from her parents’ divorce. Nice emotional heft.
Sheri Howard
Sweet...might resonate with 9- to 10-year olds struggling with their parent's divorce.
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
My 10 year old daughter recommended this book to me. It is a sweet middle grade read about a family going through big changes. I would recommend it to parents who are divorcing.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, juvenile, realistic
I liked this but I think it straddles an odd line for audience. It's long for a younger elementary reader, but Wren is nine. Normally, kids prefer to read about characters slightly older than they are, so it just seems a bit off. But, I could be wrong. It's great for capturing the complicated emotions of dealing with a divorce and the changing structures of friendships.

Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via NetGalley.
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
This was a light, easy read on a particularly heavy topic for the desired audience. Unfortunately, today divorce is much more common than it once was. Many children come from complicated home lives and extended family trees. In this more “rose-colored” world of Wren, she seems to be the only one in her class who is affected by divorce, that is except for the incredibly annoying, friend stealer Marianna. Throughout the story, Wren battles with what her parents separating means, how it touches her ...more
Amanda Rehfeld
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Summary (Intermediate)
Like any other student, Wren Jo Byrd, is excited that it is summer vacation. Her excitement is overshadowed when she finds out that her parents are getting a divorce and that she has to spend the summer with her grandparents. She is left with no time to say goodbye or tell her friends what has happened and where she is going. When she gets back, she finds out all the fun things her friends did all summer and what she missed out on. They inquire about where she was all summe
Sandy Brehl
I was one of the lucky ones to read an advanced copy of this latest book by Julie Bowe. She's proven her mastery of the voice, sensibility, and struggles of 8-10 year olds in her prior series and carries that talent forward in this single title. Wren Jo Byrd (don't you love that name?) displays a distinctive present-tense narrative which reveals the intense emotions generated by her parents' announcement of their pending divorce. Ramifications cause ripples and raw-edged angst among friends and ...more
Jan 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-kid-lit, netgalley
Some questions seem like little things. What does your house look like? That seems like a small thing. But if your parents have divorced and you now have two homes, which house does that question refer to? How do you answer that question? What did you do over the summer? Again, that seems like a casual query, unless you spent it with your grandparents while your parents divided the contents of your home.

For Wren, all these seemingly little questions cause incredible stress as her new school yea
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Julie Bowe writes books for young readers including the Friends for Keeps series, the Victoria Torres, Unfortunately Average series, and Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd).

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