Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Review: A Girl Named Willow Krimble

She doesn't know magic... She's not a super hero... Her power will amaze you...

So, you’ve just discovered that the person who has tormented, mocked and humiliated you for the past three years is lying in the school parking lot, bleeding internally from a hit and run accident. No one else is around and you need to get to a life-and-death family emergency of your own before it is too late. What would you do? Oh, did I mention you have the secret ability to heal others just by touching them? This is just one of the many situations 13-year-old Willow Krimble must face in this Web Novel, A Girl Named Willow Krimble.

Willow lives with her mother and older brother, Wyatt; she loves hanging out with her best friend, the feisty and sarcastic Razzel Fiora, and she has a close relationship with her grandmother. Seems pretty normal, right? It might be if the two most popular girls in middle school, Shayla Stergus and Snella Burenbine, 

did not taunt and remind her, on a daily basis, 
that she was born without her left leg.

Forced to maneuver through obstacles most teenagers would not need to tackle, Willow is suddenly blessed (or cursed?) with the unusual power to heal others through touch. Ever selfless, Willow’s desire to help the injured and sick thrusts her into a world where she is given immense responsibility, putting the needs of others before her own, all the while trying to maintain her secret.

Willow’s adolescent journey takes her through an emotional cyclone where she finds joy and purpose in helping an array of patients from an old man with Alzheimer’s to a mauled animal in a pet store. But Willow soon finds out there are limitations to her ability and, no matter how hard she might try, she cannot save everyone.

Through the intermingling of joy and pain, Willow is repeatedly tested to discover just how strong she can be, how strong she has been her entire life, and how everyone possesses the ability to effect another person’s world, with or without a secret power.

I was asked to review A Girl Named Willow Krimble, by author Giuseppe Bianco, months ago. I finally picked it up, and I can't believe how much I loved it! I've not read a lot of middle grade novels. I loved Harry Potter and The Spiderwick Chronicles, but they're fantasy. There's fun and magic. But I've not enjoyed many middle grade contemporary novels. Even though there is a bit of magic in this novel, it's definitely a contemporary.

Willow is a thirteen-year-old girl who finds she has the uncanny ability to heal people. Anything from a small cut or scrape up to Alzheimer's. She has a disability, a prosthetic leg, yet she doesn't let that stop her from being an amazing girl with a lot of strength. I found, even at 28, that I related to Willow. Or, rather, the memory of my tween self related to her. While many of the events in her life are very different than mine were, the effects were very similar. I loved her relationship with Razzel. Such good friends are hard to come by.

This amazing book should be read by everyone. A Girl Named Willow Krimble was originally published for free online. You can read it here. But you really do want a copy of it. Visit this page for information on ordering a copy. And while you're on Willow's site, be sure to check out the extras. Author, Giuseppe Bianco, also illustrated this beautiful cover.


Midnyte Reader said...

This sounds really cute and I'm curious to see how this story would turn out.

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