Thursday, December 18, 2008

Book Review: The Year The Swallows Came Early by Katherine FitzMaurice.

Hey, girls! Two of New Moon Girls' Launch Board Members, Pammy and Alexa, got their hands on advance copies of The Year the Swallows Came Early by Katherine FitzMaurice, which will go on sale February 3rd, 2009. Here's what they had to say about it!

Book Review: The Year The Swallows Came Early by Katherine FitzMaurice.

Book Review #1

Groovy Robinson is not fortunate enough to have what she considers a normal life for an 11-year-old. When Groovy watches as her father is taken away in a police car, she is stunned. Later, she is even more astonished when she recalls this scene for her mother, and her mother reveals that she's the one who called the police. As it turns out, Groovy’s dad had stolen $25,000 from a bank account that was left for Groovy by her great-grandmother, Eleanor, after whom she was named. (Groovy is her nickname.) She is utterly devastated: that money was rightfully hers; she even knew what she was going to do with it--go to cooking school.

She begins to make chocolate-covered strawberries to earn the money to make sure her dreams can still become a reality. Eventually Groovy’s dad is put on probation, and he begins to plan how he will be paying her back. This book brings out important concepts and ideas that from which we can learn. We learn the beauty in our dreams and the power of friendship and family. And we understand that women are strong enough to survive hardships, and support themselves and each other.

- Review by Pammy, Launch Board / Luna's Online Board member

Book Review #2

Eleanor Robinison--usually known as Groovy--has a best friend named Frankie, a famous late great-grandmother, a dad who can't seem to hold down a job, and a passion for cooking. A lot changes with all of those things one year--the year the swallows came early, as it's later called. The Year the Swallows Came Early, by Kathryn Fitzmaurice, is a witty tale, narrated by Groovy herself.

Groovy lives in a town where a large group of swallows pass every year. It is the highlight of her small village. Year after year, the swallows come up to the local mission, and many tourists come to see them as well. There's even a local restaurant called the Swallow, which Frankie's stepbrother Luis owns. Groovy helps cook there often and hopes to go to a real culinary school when she's grown. Frankie lives with Luis, as his mother and stepfather left for a short "trip" many years ago. Groovy is very close to her father, who gave her her nickname when she was a toddler. She lives with her father and mother, who don't really get along. He mother works in a hair salon and lives by her horoscope.

As the story begins, Groovy is out with her father, when he is taken away by a police car, and Groovy doesn't know why. That question is answered, but many others are also formed. Groovy learns that her great-grandmother (who she was named for) was a very famous science fiction writer. There are many exciting plot twists that keep the story moving. Groovy, Frankie, and some new friends embark on a quest to find out the truth about who a person really is, both together and by themselves.

The Year the Swallows Came Early is a clever, sweet story with many metaphors and relations to family today. I recommend it to anyone, particularly girls ages 9 to 13.

- Review by Alexa, Launch Board / Luna's Online Board member

You can read more about the authors on the Spotlight page at

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