readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Featured Title: BROKEN SOUP, by Jenny Valentine

Happy Presidents' Day, readergirlz! We hope you're getting some good reading in over the long weekend! 

If you're looking for a recommendation, how about today's Featured Title, Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine? 

It's how you look at it. . . .
Someone shoves a photo negative into Rowan's hands. She is distracted but, frankly, she has larger problems to worry about. Her brother is dead. Her father has left. Her mother won't get out of bed. She has to take care of her younger sister. And keep it all together . . .
But Rowan is curious about the mysterious boy and the negative. Who is he? Why did he give it to her? The mystery only deepens when the photo is developed and the inconceivable appears.
Everything is about to change for Rowan. . . . Finally, something positive is in her life.
Award-winning author Jenny Valentine delivers a powerful and life-affirming story of grief, friendship, and healing that will resonate long after the last page.

This month's theme here at the blog is Loyalty, and Broken Soup is a complex matrix of relationships both friendly and familial alike. In the aftermath of her brother's death, Rowan finds loyalty and love from some unexpected new friends; in the end, she learns to rely on these newcomers as a sort of makeshift extended family itself. 

I won't say too much for fear of giving away the ending of this quiet, but unexpected story that Publishers Weekly calls "a solid tale of what it takes to grow up and how to ask for help." This is one you'll want to read for yourself!

In the meantime, tell us: what are some of your favorite stories of unconventional "families," and the ways that their members show each other support? 


Spazophie said...

Yes yes YES. This is one of my favourite books of all time. Jenny Valentine is subtly wonderful.

Micol Ostow said...

"Subtly wonderful" = EXACTLY right!

Lorie Ann Grover said...

I love this teaser, Micol! I can't wait to read BROKEN SOUP. Thanks to the postergirlz.

I guess SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR comes to mind for unconventional families.

Melissa Walker said...

Unconventional families are always good to see in books, because we're all that way somehow, right? I love the sense of unconventional family in Sarah Dessen's LOCK AND KEY.

Micol Ostow said...

SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR is a great example!
Melissa, I haven't read LOCK AND KEY yet - got to get on that!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that I am SO glad you're spotlighting Broken Soup! It's such a beautiful book, but it never got as much attention (in the U.S., at least) as it deserves.

I think a great readalike -- emotionally, not stylistically -- is Jellicoe Road.


Erin said...

I love this book sooooo much.

Unknown said...

This is one of the few books they actually do carry in the pitiful YA section of the English bookshop here in Frankfurt. I need to get it!

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