12-year-old Ellen's mother has struggled with depression before, but not like this. With her father away fighting in World War II and her mother unable to care for them, Ellen's only option is to reach out to her cold, distant aunt Pearl. Soon enough, city-dwelling Ellen and her mother are shepherded off to the countryside to Aunt Pearl's home, a tidy white cottage at the base of Snowden Mountain.
Adjusting to life in a small town is no easy thing: the school has one room, one of her classmates smells of skunks, and members of the community seem to whisper about Ellen's family. But even as she worries that depression is a family curse to which she'll inevitably succumb, Ellen slowly begins to carve out a space for herself and her mother on Snowden Mountain in this thoughtful, heartfelt middle-grade novel from Jeri Watts.
"Although she initially looks down on him, and much else about Snowden, Ellen learns that trapping skunks is how Russell supports his family, and when she visits his home to deliver food from the church, she sees how Russell’s father abuses and terrorizes his family. As a friendship grows, Ellen begins to feel that Russell understands her fear that she too will suffer depression, and Russell’s confidence rises when Ellen helps him with his studies. Through a realistically complex character whose growth is organic and well-wrought, Watts (A Piece of Home) offers an unsparing look at the impact of depression, as well as the ways that human connection can change lives." — Publishers Weekly
|Recommended Age||9 - 12|
|Publication Date||Sep 10, 2019|