I am in a mother/daughter book club and our latest book is called Diamond Willow by Helen Frost. My daughter had already read it for school, and she said it was slow though I think she used the word “boring”. For a fifteen year old who goes a mile a minute and reads mostly adult novels, I can see why she said it was boring, but I disagree. In fact I liked it quite a lot. Not totally as an adult reader – though I did enjoy it in that way too – but mostly as a writer.
The story itself is written probably for higher grade school readers, and it has some twists and turns that would keep that age reader interested. (It took me a couple times to figure out that some of the passages are written by animals – very cleaver!). But what I also found very interesting is that the story is written in what the author describes as poems, though I would say they are more prose or snippets of information. The poems are written from a young girls point of view (a young Alaskan girl named Diamond Willow, though she goes by Willow). A young girl who likes the outdoors, likes a challenge, and likes her family’s sled dogs. I can relate to the first two, anyway.
I can remember taking outdoor challenges by myself or with my girlfriends to my family’s cabin, both in the dead of winter or in the warmth of summer. Helen’s descriptions of young Willow’s adventures kindled memories of those experiences for me.
The other very cleaver thing in this book is that the poems are in the shape of a diamond with the theme of each poem in bold hidden in the text of the poem on each page. Very cool!
I would recommend this for a very good mother/daughter read.