Gingersnap by Patricia Reilly Giff
This one time, my librarian mentor friends of super awesome amazing got me more interested in historical non-fiction, which has been slowly nudging it's way into historical fiction.
I used to read more historical fiction when I was younger, but then I started to get screwed up on texts because I'd remember the 'fun book' details over the 'boring book' details. That doesn't work with history teachers usually. So in an effort to just save my history grades, I stayed away from them for a while.
BUT NO MORE.
No more classes...for now. BUM BUM BUM.
This was a cozy way of getting to know a bit more about what it might have been like growing up when World War II was going on. There are a lot of touches of details that I already know but coupled with how a young person might see it.
An amazon summary to get me going on this one, "It's 1944, W.W. II is raging. Jayna's big brother Rob is her only family. When Rob is called to duty on a destroyer, Jayna is left in their small town in upstate New York with their cranky landlady. But right before he leaves, Rob tells Jayna a secret: they may have a grandmother in Brooklyn. Rob found a little blue recipe book with her name and an address for a bakery. When Jayna learns that Rob is missing in action, she's devastated. Along with her turtle Theresa, the recipe book, and an encouraging, ghostly voice as her guide, Jayna sets out for Brooklyn in hopes of finding the family she so desperately needs." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
I'm kind of just okay with that summary and I'm going to do something weird.
So my amazing friends that recommended this book to me argued an aspect of the book without spoiling anything about the book.
There is a ghost within the book.
The ghost is only slightly seen and the debate centered around whether the ghost was a really necessary element of the story.
In a round about way, I'm going to talk about the book but in favor of the ghost and what it could represent.
The ghost in the book appears in moments where Jayna seems to falter for hope or is unsure of her next steps, of even in the future.
The ghost is a source of comfort.
There isn't really an outline of how the ghost works, any mechanics, and only once does the ghost mention not supposing to touch Jayna.
The ghost doesn't have a name.
The ghost is never truly seen.
The ghost seems to know what might happen.
The ghost can use Jayna's nail polish, the ghost can pick up rocks, etc but doesn't seem to want or be able to make physical contact.
I want to make the case that the ghost is the manifestation of Jayna's hope.
...anyways, the book itself was kind of a polite read in a way. It showed you it's business in a very short read (under 200 pages) and it was hard to put down simply because of how pleasant it was.
A lot of the history of the book was curbed because she was a younger narrator, however it is present, observed, and seen without having to be overly traumatic in the experience. It's kind of sad.
It reminds me of covering mud with sugar; the mud is still there but you put a sugar coating on top. I still wouldn't eat that mud though.