Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Review: Sincerely, Harriet by Sarah W. Searle


Harriet Flores struggles with boredom and an unrequited crush while learning to manage her chronic illness through a long, hot, 1990s summer in Chicago. She uses her imagination to cope, which sometimes gets her into trouble, as she makes up fantastical fibs and wonders if there are ghosts upstairs. One neighbor, Pearl, encourages Harriet to read and write, leading Harriet to have a breakthrough and discover the power of storytelling.

As a librarian I am constantly telling parents that graphic novels are perfect for working on comprehension skills, particularly making inferences. Much of what is in the description (such as Harriet's illness) isn't discovered until late in the story, but there are plenty of clues before it is actually mentioned. I find myself wanting to go back and put sticky notes on pages ("Why does she keep showing us Harriet injuring herself? What does that have to do with Nicholas's 'ghost'?")

Harriet's character is extremely relatable to anyone who has ever had a hard time making friends, or to those who have maybe told themselves lies to make themselves feel better.

Available in May.

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