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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Words and Their Meanings by Kate Bassett

Image courtesy of NetGalley.com

Words and Their Meanings
by Kate Bassett

Anna is fractured.  She has lost her "bruncle", her uncle who has been raised by her parents as her brother.  Her parents have separated, her father's new girlfriend is having a baby, her baby sister has taken to hiding to deal with her pain, and she is slipping away from her best friend Nat.  When her Gramps gets sick, she loses all hope.

To deal with the death of her "bruncle" Joe, Anna has channeled Patti Smith; she has slashed her hair and dyed it black, she wears tattered clothing and she writes a daily Patti Smith quote on her arm for inspiration.   She believes that Joe's death is her fault and she does everything that she can to ward off the pain.

Then Anna meets Mateo.  He is handsome, exotic and all of the other girls are vying for his attention.  But for reasons that Anna doesn't comprehend, he picks her.  Anna used to consider herself a writer, and artist, but that all changes when she loses Joe.  Mateo is himself an artist.  Can Mateo help Anna connect to her art again?  Can he help heal a girl who is so fractured?  What secrets was Joe hiding?  

Words and Their Meanings is a cathartic story about the power of art, the hope of family and the gift of forgiveness.  I would recommend this book for high school libraries and could easily see pairing it with a collaborative project with the art department.

Warning:  I read the last 30 pages of this book through tears!!

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