by Nanci Turner Stevenson
Published May 2017
Review copy from public library
Perfect for fans of One for the Murphys and The Penderwicks, this poignant and moving middle grade novel tells the story of a girl who moves to a new town and meets an unforgettable family—one that will change her and her mother’s lives forever.
Magnolia Grace never wanted to leave Georgia. She never wanted to move with her mama to the farm her daddy owned before he died. But now here she is, in a tiny Vermont town where everybody sings the praises of the father Maggie never knew.
Then Maggie meets the Parker family—two moms, six kids, plus a pony. The Parkers are loud and wild, ask lots of questions, and don't follow any of the rules Maggie grew up with in Georgia. Suddenly Maggie has questions too—questions about her father, and why Mama kept him away for so long. In her search for answers, Maggie will learn that families are like patchwork quilts, sewn together by love, and all the more beautiful for their different colors.
This unique story unfolds slowly and reveals its secrets bit by bit. The author masterfully creates tension and makes the reader feel all of the feelings that Maggie feels-anger, jealousy, love, longing. Maggie is a relatable, imperfect character with an equally imperfect mother. The reader watches as Maggie pushes her mother to share more about her father who most of the town seems to know better than she ever did. You can't help, but hope for Maggie to find the closure she desperately needs. The ending events are satisfying and not exactly what I expected.
Fans of books like One for the Murphys with challenging family dynamics will want to try Georgia Rules. I would highly recommend it for middle grade readers (4-6).
See what others have to say about this book: