Those families are often called grand families. (I would like to think that all families are grand!)
Author Michelle Weidenbenner addresses that issue in her book Éclair Goes to Stella’s. (I think it’s really clever how Éclair gets her name…)
Seven-year-old Éclair and her baby sister, Meggie, live in Florida. But, their mother is very sick and is in a place like a hospital. Their father travels a lot for work and can’t take care of them. So, he drives them to Indiana so that his mother can take care of his two daughters on her farm.
Éclair is NOT thrilled. Not one iota. No siree, Bob! She doesn’t want to leave her best forever friend. But most of all, she is afraid of her grandmother, Stella. She doesn’t know her at all. (All of you grandmothers out there who have grandchildren that live far away understand this situation, don’t you?)
Stella has red and purple hair and wears jeans and pink cowboy boots. Éclair isn’t sure what to think about all that.
Then there is a wounded, sick horse that needs loving, a baby alpaca that needs a name, a mean rooster that needs to be nicer, and a sugar cream pie that needs to be eaten. (Boy, I’d sure like the recipe for a sugar cream pie. It sounds delish!)
But then, Stella decides to take in borders. Maybe, just maybe, it won’t be so awful for Éclair after all.
This is a delightful, easy to read chapter book for young girls. Each chapter leaves you hanging so that you just HAVE to keep reading to see what happens next. It addresses the unsettled feelings that children have when they can’t live with their parents, when they have to leave their friends, and when they are in unfamiliar surroundings.
Weidenbenner confronts those issues with delicacy so that the young reader isn’t terrified or upset by them. In fact, I can imagine children shaking their heads with understanding thinking that they know exactly how Éclair feels!
Do you have a granddaughter that is in elementary school? She would be delighted to read this book – especially if she loves animals and horses in particular. (What little girl doesn’t dream of having her own horse? I ask you.)
This book has a little bit of suspense. It has action and humor. It’s engaging. Wrap those all together and you get a heart-warming story sure to please a young reader.
Michelle is an animal lover herself. As a writer, she’s been busy, busy, busy. She was a bronze medalist is the 2010 Frasier Contest, a 2011 semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis Contest, and won the Aspiring Writer’s Contest withe THE READING ROOM, 2013. She has been published in several magazines and has won contests in The Writer’s Journal and The Writer’s Digest.
Éclair Goes to Stella’s is the first book in a series. The others are Éclair Meets a Gypsy, Éclair Goes Geocaching, and Éclair in the Show Ring. (I can’t wait for them to be published — especially the one about geocaching — so that I can find out what all happens to Éclair!)
Take a moment to check out Michelle’s book on Amazon.com. You’ll be glad you did!