"Love ain't like that." "How is it then?" Peaches asked, turning on her stomach to face me. "It's like sky. If you keep driving and driving, gas will run out, right?" "That's why we gotta go to the gas station." "Yep. But have you ever seen the sky run out? No matter how far we go?" "No, when we look up, there it is." "Well that's the kind of love Daddy and Mama got for us, Peaches--love like sky." "It never ends?" "Never." G-baby and her younger sister, Peaches, are still getting used to their "blended-up" family. They live with Mama and Frank out in the suburbs, and they haven't seen their real daddy much since he married Millicent. G-baby misses her best friend back in Atlanta, and is crushed that her glamorous new stepsister, Tangie, wants nothing to do with her. G-baby is so preoccupied with earning Tangie's approval that she isn't there for her own little sister when she needs her most. Peaches gets sick— really sick. Suddenly, Mama and Daddy are arguing like they did before the divorce, and even the doctors at the hospital don't know how to help Peaches get better. It's up to G-baby to put things right. She knows Peaches can be strong again if she can only see that their family's love for her really is like sky.
5 out of 5 stars
Love Like Sky by Leslie C. Youngblood is a children’s (and young adult?) book that gives a glimpse into the challenges of dealing with broken families and forming new ties. Young Georgie (G-baby) and Patrice (Peaches) are as close as two sisters can be, but they’re adjusting to their new stepsister Tangie and stepfather Frank, not to mention their dad’s new wife Millicent (who they privately call Millipede). A tragedy threatens to snap the fragile ties the families are forming but may force them to see each other in a new light.
I love stories that are multi-level, and there are so many elements that are addressed in an engaging and organic manner that I was enchanted with this tale. The main thread of broken families that are gradually adapting to a new normal and the impact on the various children and adults involved in “blending” is explored, and the back stories for many of the characters is heart-tugging and a reminder that surface perception often changes once more information is revealed. Not only are sibling bonds, bonds of friendship, and fragile bonds of “like” that may morph into something more explored, but also current issues ripped from the headlines that are very relevant to persons of color are touched upon.
The allusions to overt and subtle bullying issues, peer pressure, and the undercurrents that children must navigate daily are vividly depicted, and I love the way revelations gradually alter the way one views various people, including one who has a hurtful nickname. I was invested enough in the story to cheer when a certain meanie got her comeuppance and although there is a “happy for now” ending, I was satisfied by the ending—but I hope there is a sequel in the works. I think this book would be a great teaching tool for children of all ages…and a few adults as well!
I checked this book out of the library...but I'm ordering my own copy soon!
(my grand-niece expressed a desire for books (yay!) so I am exploring what is available out there besides the 'Wimpy Kid' and 'Dork Diaries' series she asked for, so there will be a few of my new faves featured over the next few weeks...