The Messy Life of Blue

Yellow Jacket. Jun. 2020. 240p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781499810257.
Gr 3-7–Eleven-year-old Beulah “Blue” is the only girl in her family of her father and three brothers. Since her mother’s death, Blue has been worried about forgetting her—what she looked like and wore, her interests and talents. To refresh her memory, Blue starts a “Mom List,” wears her mother’s favorite nail polish, joins an art class, and reads her mother’s favorite book, Charlotte’s Web. Blue even takes on little jobs to afford buying a pair of shoes that remind her of her mother. Throughout the novel, Blue’s family and friends assist her in feeling more connected to her mother. Railey’s debut is a touching and humorous tale of family, loss, grief, and friendship. It will be of comfort to readers who may have experienced death in their own families while also giving them a few laughs. Blue is a relatable tween, struggling with being the only girl at home and adjusting to her new family dynamic, all while trying to feel more connected to her late mother.
VERDICT A recommended title for middle grade readers who have experienced loss.

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