Sixth grade is coming to an end, and so is life as Macy McMillan knows it. Already a For Sale sign mars the front lawn of her beloved house. Soon her mother will upend their little family, adding an unwelcome stepfather and pesky six-year-old twin stepsisters. To add insult to injury, what is Macy s final sixth grade assignment? A genealogy project. Well, she’ll put it off―just like those wedding centerpieces she’s supposed to be making.
Just when Macy’s mother ought to be sympathetic, she sends her next door to help eighty-six-year-old Iris Gillan, who is also getting ready to move―in her case, into an assisted living facility. Iris can’t move a single box on her own and, worse, she doesn’t know sign language. How is Macy supposed to understand her? But Iris has stories to tell, and she isn’t going to let Macy’s deafness stop her. Soon, through notes and books and cookies, a friendship grows. And this friendship, odd and unexpected, may be just what Macy needs to face the changes in her life.
Shari Green, author of Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles, writes free verse with the lightest touch, spinning Macy out of her old story and into a new one full of warmth and promise for the future.
Dear Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess,
You are so endearing and cute. I feel like anyone who finds you will make an instant friend. You combine two of my favorite things, treats and reading. Thank you for both the heartwarming story and the yummy cookie recipe!
This book was created to be eaten with a cookie. Don’t believe me? When you get a copy of the book, go to the back, and there is a recipe for cookies! Seriously though, what an adorable book. I am no expert on poetry, so I will avoid commenting on anything technical. From an amateur reading perspective, I really enjoyed how the story flowed and the pace of everything.
The authentic feelings of Macy are what kept me interested for the whole book. Sometimes in children’s fiction, I find the child is basically an adult in child size. So, I was excited to read Macy reacting to situations like a child (I mean this in a positive way). Macy is dealing with a lot of change, she is moving, her mother is marrying someone, her future step-dad has two girls (so her family is growing greatly), her best friend and her are fighting, and the school year is finishing. And on top of all her life problems, she is helping her neighbor pack up boxes for her own moving. Shari Green did an excellent job dealing with big emotions and not watering them down, Macy felt deeply and fully as her world is “falling apart”.
Sign Language is such an underrated and beautiful language. I appreciated Shari Green’s willingness to branch out of the normal literature and write a strong deaf character, who has more to her story than being deaf. Being deaf is simply an element of who a person is, there are still adventures to be had, frustration, and fighting with friends. You know… human stuff. Iris doesn’t know sign language at the beginning, which makes communication difficult. But, Iris doesn’t allow a barrier to keep her from relationship with Macy. Iris learns how to finger-spell, writes little letters, and lets food and books speak. They challenge one another and push each other out of their comfort zones. All in all, their friendship was a highlight of the book. Iris was a beautifully written character who didn’t have it all together, but showed up vulnerable to Macy. Which, in turn, taught Macy about vulnerability as well.
While I could go into every relationship in this book, suffice to say: this is an endearing book. I truly recommend this book to anyone looking for a nice, sweet, and heartwarming read. Some people may be put off because it is a children’s book. However, don’t let such a silly thing keep you from experiencing the wonders of this book. All the awards given to it say a lot, and I believe it deserves those awards. Macy McMillan could brighten anyone’s day!