Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Missing Okalee by Laura Ojeda Melchor


Genre: Mddle Grade, Realistic Fiction
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This is one of those stories that will tug at your heart strings. This book is an emotional roller coaster. It deals with death, grief and how each person handles it differently. Phoebe and her sister have a ritual they have secretly performed for years crossing the river. This time things go wrong and Okalee drowns. What happens after that is terrible. Phoebe feels guilty about it. Her mother becomes very depressed. A kid at school spreads rumors about the drowning that push Phoebe deeper into her guilt. We see the toll it takes on her. She stops singing, she doesn’t report the bullying. At some point Phoebe decides to talk to get some help. If this book does nothing else but reach out to a student reading it and teach them that it is okay to talk to someone when they have a problem, then it has done more than provide a good read. We need more books like this in our schools and on our classroom shelves. Unfortunately, this is a book I can recommend to students, but can’t have on my classroom shelves. Our media specialist has not read and approved it and is no where else in out district’s schools. It therefore had to be pulled from my shelves. Don’t think I won’t tell my kids what a wonderful book it is

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