Honey / by Sarah Weeks. 7.14.2015

Scholastic Press ISBN 9780545465571

INT Grades 3-5 Rating: 4

In Honey, author Sarah Weeks, who also penned Pie, Oggie Cooder, and Oggie Cooder, Party Animal, shares a touching story about grieving, growing up, and the yearning for maternal love.

10-year-old Melody Bishop has no mother. It is “not a particularly sensitive subject…The fact that she didn’t have a mother was simply that: a fact. She and her father were very close, and it had always been just the two of them.” (p.4) But, suddenly, when she hears her dad call someone “Honey” before hanging up the phone, everything changes.

Melody makes it her mission to discover who “Honey” is, and with the help of her best friend, Nick, and despite pesky next-door-neighbor, Teeny, she sets out to find the mystery woman. She discovers that several previously unknown women have connections with her father, but which one is “Honey”?

To find the answer to her mystery, Melody, Nick and tag-along Teeny must enter the doors of an establishment Melody has previously avoided—the beauty shop. The shop is a warmer and more interesting place than Melody imagined, and she finds more there than just clues to the identity of “Honey.” Mo, the owner’s French bulldog, lives in the back of the shop, and he has a mystery of his own to solve.

Melody comes to realize that she does miss the mother she never knew, and the floodgates of loss and yearning open wide “as the mysterious feeling that had been hiding deep down inside her finally rose up to the surface, bubbling and boiling until she couldn’t hold it back any longer and it spilled out over the edges of her heart” (p. 109). Eventually, both Melody’s and Mo’s mysteries are solved.

Eloquently written, Honey evokes childhood summers and presents a child’s perspective on loss and new beginnings. This book will touch the heart of any child who ever yearned for maternal love, and any child who ever loved a dog.

Valorie Cooper, CLJ

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