Book Review by Aarene Storms: Diamond Willow

Friday, October 26, 2018

Diamond Willow by Helen Frost

12 year old Willow lives with her family in a small Alaskan bush village. The only way to get there is via plane, boat, snow machine, and dog sled. Willow doesn't have many friends... unless you count the dogs in her dad's sled team.

She loves caring for the dogs, and loves taking them out into the cold snow. One day, Willow convinces her parents that she's old enough to drive the dogs out to her grandparents' cabin in the bush. She knows the trail, and she's good with the dogs. But then, something goes wrong.

The story is told in diamond-shaped poems with a "hidden" extra message printed in darker print at the center of each one. Willow narrates most of the story, with occasional portions told by the animals around her-- who may be closer to her than she knows.

Sweet, lilting prose, and a girl's quest for identity. Recommended for readers ages 10 to adult. No cussing, nekkidness, or drugs. There are secrets, and there are ghosts.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true.  --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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