Iowa City Public Library's Reviews > Junonia

Junonia by Kevin Henkes
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's review
Aug 10, 2011

bookshelves: katherine, staff-picks-blog, childrens

Alice and her parents spend a week in February every year at a beach cottage on Sanibel Island, Florida, where they celebrate her birthday. This year Alice turns ten and is excited about seeing all the familiar people in the nearby cabins, what kind of party she will have, and if this will be the year she finally finds a rare junonia shell on the beach. However, some of the usual visitors to the island can’t come and one nearby cottage becomes the retreat for a friend of Alice’s mother, Kate, her boyfriend, Ted, and his six-year-old daughter, Mallory. Alice is a bit jealous of the attention given to younger girl who is having her own issues and acting like a brat and spoiling all the fun. Henkes writes quiet, introspective novels for kids, and this book is no exception. However, I’ve been to Sanibel Island and collected shells there so the setting was wonderfully familiar to me. The author, who is best known for his delightful picture books, drew illustrations of some Florida shells along with their names and that is a nice addition. And 3-5 grade readers will relate to Alice who is an only child wanting things to stay the same….

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