One of the many fun things about being part of OneFour KidLit is getting to interview debut 2013 authors about their great new books. Tomorrow, my interview with Laura Golden, author of Every Day After, will be up on the OneFour blog. But I couldn’t wait until then to post about this historical MG gem. Here’s a little about the book, from Goodreads:

Trouble has rained down
on Lizzie Hawkins. Her daddy has deserted the family, her mama is
silent with sadness, and the bank is after their house.
Daddy
always said Lizzie was born to succeed, but right now she can’t even
hold on to her top grades or her best friend, Ben. Bratty newcomer Erin
Sawyer has weaseled both away from Lizzie, but Erin wonโ€™t be satisfied
until Lizzie is out of her hair for good, packed off straight to the
nearest orphanage.

Still, Lizzie refuses to lose what’s left of
her family. With the bank deadline fast approaching, Erin causing strife
at every turn, and Mama and Ben slipping away from her, Lizzie finds
comfort writing in her journal and looking at Daddy’s face in the
heirloom locket he left her. She’s keeping her head high and holding
onto hope that Daddy returns on her twelfth birthday. Still, she canโ€™t
help wondering: Why did Daddy have to leave? And can I save us if he
doesn’t come home?

Times may be tough in Bittersweet, Alabama,
but the unsinkable Lizzie Hawkins will inspire readers with her
resilience and determination.

Laura kindly lent an ARC to me so I could read Every Day After in advance of our interview–although I plan to buy a copy once it hits shelves, because this is one of those marvelous MG books that will be an instant classic. The character development is rich, the setting is so real that you start to feel like you have GooGoo Clusters stuck in your teeth (a candy that Lizzie longs for in the book), and the themes and message are timeless. It really struck me, while reading, how relevant a story about a young girl staying strong in the face of economic troubles is today. Lizzie’s determination and strength are a model to anyone, of any age, who is struggling.
But this is also a great MG story about community, friendship, and finding yourself, one with plenty of sweet humor. I highly recommend that tomorrow, you pick up a copy of Every Day After.

To see what other marvelous middle-grade books readers and writers are blogging about today, check out Shannon Whitney Messenger’s blog for the MMGM links!