Pieces of Why
by K. L. Going
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Release Date: September 8th 2015
Rate: 4 out of 5 stars
From the award winning author of Fat Kid Rules the World andThe Liberation of Gabriel King comes a lyrical, middle grade gem that asks all the hard questions and hits all the right notes–perfect for fans of Cynthia Rylant and Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine.
Tia lives with her mom in a high-risk neighborhood in New Orleans and loves singing gospel in the Rainbow Choir with Keisha, her boisterous and assertive best friend. Tia’s dream is to change the world with her voice; and by all accounts, she might be talented enough. But when a shooting happens in her neighborhood and she learns the truth about the crime that sent her father to prison years ago, Tia finds she can’t sing anymore. The loss prompts her to start asking the people in her community hard questions–questions everyone has always been too afraid to ask.
Full of humanity, Pieces of Why is a timely story that addresses grief, healing, and forgiveness, told through the eyes of a gifted girl who hears rhythm and song everywhere in her life.
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I have to say, first of all, that I really liked the front cover of this book. It was very appealing and drew me in really easily.
I liked Tia as a narrator. Although her dreams and goals were easy to understand, I thought it was good to see how she had to deal with discovering her father’s real past. While I did think he’d done something really horrible and wrong, I thought the author did a good job of showing that no one’s past redemption.
I really liked the friendship between Tia and Keisha. It was really nice to see how they supported each other and that Tia was an accepted part of Keisha’s family. I really disliked Loretta, but I liked Evette and Dwayne. Dwayne made me smile on more than one occasion and I thought it was obvious how much he and Evette cared about Tia. And I could understand Tia’s questioning about the fact that she liked Dwayne more than her actual father.
I thought Tia’s relationship with her mother came across as quite complicated and deep. While I could understand her mother wanting to protect her, I didn’t think she went the right way about it… and there were times I felt myself aching for Tia, considering that a lot of the townfolk seemed to treat her like a pariah.
I liked Tia and Kenny interacting with each other. There were some really sweet moments between them and although they were still young, I could see them getting even closer as they grow older.
I liked the theme of singing that ran through this book. And it was nice to see how Tia viewed her own singing. There were some quite poignant descriptions of her singing with the choir… and I did think that the rainbow choir was quite a good idea.
I thought this book was quite intense to read. It was very good at tugging at my emotions and making me want to keep reading. It was sad in parts, but there were also scenes that were happy and really moving. I would be interested in reading more books by this author in the future.
KL Going is the award winning author of books for children and teens. Her first novel, Fat Kid Rules the World was named a Michael Printz honor book by the American Library Association, as well as one of the Best Books for Young Adults from the past decade. Her books have been Booksense picks, Scholastic Book Club choices, Junior Library Guild selections, winners of state book awards, and featured by Publishers
Weekly, School Library Journal, and Children’s Book Council as Best Books. Her work has been published in Korea, Italy, Japan and the UK.
KL began her career working at one of the oldest literary agencies in New York City. She used this inner knowledge of publishing to write Writing and Selling the Young Adult Novel — a how-to book for aspiring writers, published by Writer’s Digest. She has also written short stories for several anthologies and currently has two picture books under contract for future release. She currently lives in Glen Spey, NY where she both writes and runs a business critiquing manuscripts. To visit KL on-line go to http://www.klgoing.com.
1st Prize: Win a signed galley of Pieces of Why, a Fat Kid movie, a signed Fat Kid original book cover, a signed poster of Saint Iggy and Read Great Books bumper sticker (US Only)
2nd Prize: Win a signed galley of Pieces of Why, a signed paperback of The Liberation of Gabriel King, a sign poster for The Garden of Eve and a Read Great Books bumper sticker (US Only)
3rd Prize: Win a signed galley of Pieces of Why, an audio edition of The Garden of Eve, a signed poster for The Garden of Eve and a Read Great Books bumper sticker (US Only)