Violets Are Blue

S. & S./Aladdin. Sept. 2021. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534469181.
Gr 4-8–Twelve-year-old Renada (Wren) is going through some difficult changes. In a few short months, her parents have divorced, her father has remarried, and Wren has gone through a major move with her mother. On the positive side, she likes her new stepmother, who is pregnant with twins, and quickly makes a friend at her new school. She also follows a YouTuber who specializes in special effects make-up, and working with make-up helps her cope with life. Wren’s friend Poppy convinces her to do makeup for the school musical, and Wren is surprised to find herself enjoying the challenge. On the negative side, Wren’s mother is behaving erratically, taking long naps on the sofa, missing work, and keeping things locked away in her room. Wren tackles these challenges, along with her own insecurities, with a believable maturity. Dee addresses with aplomb important topics such as opioid addiction, divorce, bullying, and moving. This inspired novel deftly depicts the self-doubt and loneliness that many children (and adults) feel. Character ethnicity is not described.
VERDICT A recommended purchase, especially for libraries that serve children affected by the opioid crisis.

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