Violet and the Pie of Life by Debra Green. Holiday House, 2021. 9780823447558
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Realistic fiction
What did you like about the book? Twelve year old Violet loves math. But the logic of math cannot explain her father leaving the family, nor her best friend McKenzie’s opposition to Violet’s friendship with Ally, a popular girl who gets the lead in the school play. Other stressors are her mother’s nagging (Is that why her father left?) and wondering why Dad doesn’t call her. Violet finds a satisfying distraction in her role as the cowardly lion in the school’s production of The Wizard of Oz, but then a fatherless home awaits her.
This is a gently humorous take on a family breakup, with a flawed, but lovable, self-deprecating narrator, a lover of math and pie. Her voice is real and relatable, and readers will identify with her worries and doubts about family, friendship and even romance, nicely illustrated by the pie charts, graphs and diagrams that give her solace. Notes, texts and emails also add to the story.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? For middle grade readers who like realistic fiction.
Who should buy this book? Elementary and middle school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Near the top.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: June 25, 2021