We have several kids in our home who are at the stage of looking for preteen/teen books but often find that most of what is currently being offered for kids at this level is simply inappropriate for our family. I promise the authors out there that you can actually write entertaining stories that have nothing to do with occult type themes. Really, it's not that hard. But I digress.
Lately we have been making a point to seek out young adult authors who write books that we actually want our children to read. I was thrilled to discover that Pauline Books and Media is now starting to focus on producing books for teen readers. I had the opportunity to read the book The Locket's Secret by K. Kelley Heyne.
The main character in this book, Carrie, is a young teen girl from a homeschooling family who finds herself in the middle of several different major life changes. Her family is moving across country so that her father can accept a new job, leaving behind all of her friends. Mom is expecting a new baby and the entire family is still recovering from a heart breaking loss. We follow Carrie as she struggles to make sense of all of these changes while loosing herself in a vivid daydream of her own design.
I will admit that the daydream world was my favorite part of the book. I think we can all remember placing ourselves in our own fantasy world when life's challenges got a bit too hard to handle. As Carrie lives within her fantasy world, the characters in her mind deal with the same issues she is trying to handle.
My one complaint was that you did not discover that the family in the book was struggling to deal with the death of one of their children until several chapters into the book. As a family that is currently dealing with the same issue, having it sneak up on me in the book was a bit startling. I do wish it had been spelled out a bit more clearly in the description because I'm not sure how each of my children would have handled that aspect of the book had they come upon it themselves. And yet I did find that a passage in the book spoke to my heart regarding the issue and helped just a little bit. "I'd love to tell you that it's going to be okay, but you'll always hurt a little. It's the price we pay for loving."
Overall I enjoyed the book and plan to keep my eye on the other offerings for young adult readers from Pauline Books and Media. This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Locket's Secret. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith.