Galante, Cecilia The World From Up Here, 320 pages. Scholastic Press, 2016. $17. Language: PG (18 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG (dad cheats on mom ); Violence: G.
Wren, 12, has enough problems as it is. Her little brother has Asperger’s Syndrome and her mother tends to be moody and withdrawn, Now she is also jealous of her cousin Silver, who has just moved to town and seems to be the golden girl at their mutual school. When her mother ends up in the hospital for depression, though, both she and her brother have to move in with her cousin and her aunt, putting her right under the shadow of Witch Weatherly, the spooky old lady who lives up the mountain with her red raven, spiky pits, and dangerous snakes. The cousins get to know each other better and when Silver wants to climb the mountain to meet the Witch for a school project, Wren decides she’d better accompany her, even though ever fiber of her being is screaming at her to run the other direction. Wren needs to learn to have not only more confidence in herself, but to be open to other people, too.
The addition of the Witch Weatherly mystery (this is not a fantasy) added a dimension to this that made it more interesting for me beyond the typical neurotic girl books that have come out lately. I am not sure how well Silver’s tough love approach to Wren’s worrying would actually work in real life, but I certain loved her boldness in calling Wren out. That part alone makes this worth reading.
EL, MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher