Book Review: Reeni’s Turn by Carol Coven Grannick

Much love to the author for sharing an eARC with me! I am very thankful for the connections I’ve made these past several months of starting my book blog. I am excited to share about this recently published middle grade book.


Released: September 13, 2020

Summary:

Eleven-year-old Reeni’s world is changing. Her star-of-the-senior-class, college-bound sister has no time for her, sixth grade is full of girls into makeup and diets and crushes, and something deep inside tells Reeni it’s time to become more than a shy girl in the shadows. But when she commits to dancing a solo for her retiring ballet teacher’s final recital, her lifelong fear of performing expands along with her newly-changing body. Lunch friends convince Reeni that a diet will give her courage and

self-confidence, but the diet wreaks havoc with Reeni’s life. She lies to her parents, breaks up with her best friend, and loses focus on school work and dance. Reeni faces a painful choice: should she break her commitment to solo and quit dance? Or might she have hidden strengths that could help her come out of the shadows and become the girl she wants to be?


My Thoughts:

This is the second book I’ve read that features dance and I am so excited about this one. First, this book is written in a novel-in-verse format which I grown to love over these past several months. I am building my classroom library collection in this format and this one is so different from other stories I have. Second, not only will the story grab the attention of readers but the length is spot on too. I am all for finding middle grade books that are around the 200-250 page range. I find that this is something that my growing readers need more of, rather than 300-400 page books. As for the story at hand, it has a message that you want to shout from the rooftops. An eleven-year-old girl is facing body image issues and lacks the confidence she should have. She feels like so much pressure is on her shoulders about fitting in, looking like the stereotypical “ballerina”, and she battles this inner voice that tells her that she’s not good enough. These are many thoughts girls have going into middle school and even beyond. Being with Reeni along her journey of self-discovery has such an emotional punch. It is 201 pages that I will happily recommend to any 9 to 13-year-old girls who need to see themselves as enough.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

About the Author

Carol Coven Grannick is an author, poet, and chronicler. Her poetry and fiction for young children has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous magazines, including Hello, Babybug, Highlights, Ladybug, and Cricket. She is a regular columnist for the Illinois SCBWI Prairie Wind, reporter for

Photo Credit: Author Website

Cynthia Leitich Smith’s award-winning blog, Cynsations, and a member of the GROG blog. Her awards include: Finalist, 2014 Katherine Paterson Award at Hunger Mountain (VCFA) Honorable Mention, 2018, Sydney Taylor Manuscript Competition Ragdale Foundation Writing Residency, 2016 Illinois Arts Council Grant, 2019. She is a member of The Society for Children’s Writers and Illustrators and The Chicago Writers Association. She looks forward to many conversations with young readers about REENI’S TURN. Learn more at https://www.carolcovengrannick.com/


Middle graders go through a lot during their years. Body issues is one that I know is often overlooked. What is a middle grade book that also tackles a tough topic for middle grade readers? Share with me below!

Xo, Sierra

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