REVIEW: If This Were a Story by Beth Turley
Tenacious. That means strong-willed. My mother calls me that.
I wish I felt the same way.
If this were a story, I would discover I was a direct descendent of a famous soldier who won countless battles and protected hundreds of people. This resilience running through my veins wouldn’t be damaged by the notes; it would fight off bullies and prevent my parents from yelling at each other.
But this is not a story. This is real life. My life as ten-year-old Hannah Geller, who is the only girl in fifth grade to have little red bumps on her face, is unable to let the sad thoughts escape her mind, and leaves heads-up pennies wherever she can to spread good luck.
And who also finds magic in the most unlikely of places.
Dear Ms. Turley,
I couldn’t resist the cover for this book which did a marvelous job of conveying several things about the book. The story is about a young girl, who is often alone in her thoughts and over the course of one fall, learns a lot about herself, her friends and her family … along with the help of a few unlikely friends.
“If this were a story …” Hannah Geller would be wise beyond her years, or braver than the hero in an adventure book or at least always have the right answers for the problems in her life. But it’s not and she has to struggle with issues children her age might not be quite ready to cope with. What does she do when a best friend abandons her or a classmate turns threatening or worst of all her parents won’t stop fighting?
Two years earlier a counselor had given Hannah parts of a book which the counselor thought might help intelligent and introverted Hannah. Hannah loves words and reads beyond her years but often can’t stop her thoughts circling around or get out of her own head.
The story sensitively deals with bullying, friendship and how a child copes with her parents fighting. In some ways, this took me back years to my own school days yet in other horrifying ones, it reminds me that today’s students live in a world I could not have imagined. I never had school lockdown drills nor counselors so highly trained in dealing with children’s emotional crises.
I enjoyed the imaginatively told story which includes some unique points of view and a heroine who finds her way with a little help from some unusual sources. B