izzy’s place by Marc Kornblatt

izzys-imageWhen Henry’s parents have trouble getting along, they send him to spend the summer in Greenville with his Grandma. The only hitch is that Henry’s Grandpa died in the last year, and he can’t imagine being there all summer with his Grandma, who is all alone. Grandma Martha can’t seem to let Henry be by himself, which appears to be an overreaction to his grandpa’s death- or maybe she’s always been that way and Henry just has outgrown it.

This story had some good topics to discuss- bullying, death, divorce. Difficult topics that kids deal with. Henry learns that his parent’s relationship is something he has no control over. Although sometimes he wishes he could make it all go back to how it used to be. This is a very common theme for children of divorce, who often feel out of control and angry because they don’t have a say, and even when they express their thoughts, it doesn’t make a difference.

I appreciated Grandma Martha’s neighbor, Mr. Fine, reaching out to Henry despite his own life challenges.

This book is a heavier read, although nothing offensive, just heavy topics to deal with that I think middle readers will appreciate knowing someone is out there who understands.

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