Unravel by Sharon Jennings


You know those great books that you get ‘into’ and you can’t wait to find out how it ends. But you don’t want them to end…?

Well, I picked up Unravel by Sharon Jennings and I started turning pages. Couldn’t stop reading. The story reads so well, so true. I was right there in Toronto with Rebecca and her strange father. She is such a spunky, independent girl that, despite her strange upbringing, she seems to be alright. But Rebecca struggles with how different her “family” of two is from other families that she observes in her neighbourhood. She doesn’t go to school. She can’t even get a library card even though she is a voracious reader. Books might well be what saved her. She shops at thrift stores and rides the bus by herself.

As soon as she settles and makes friends, her dad packs up and forces her to leave again. But as Rebecca get older, she realizes that something is wrong. Things don’t ring true anymore. The story is so well written that you just have to find out what exactly it is that is wrong.

In the 1990’s I had a favourite book called The Face on The Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney. I used that book a lot in writing workshops because the short content was so intriguing. Unravel is every bit as good. A fabulous story for middle graders to sink their teeth in, learn about what life can be like and how what you see on the surface may not be the entire truth…

ISBN 9780889956193, Red Deer Press