"I'll be right there, Rob," I called. Did my brother hear me? He was in the kitchen chopping onions, the knife going a mile a minute. WJZ Radio was blasting news to anyone who wanted to listen. It was all about the war in the Pacific. I didn't want to think about it.
I enjoy books with a World War II setting usually, so I was excited to pick up Patricia Reilly Giff's newest children's book, Gingersnap. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work for me as much as I'd hoped. Jayna (Gingersnap) is a lovely heroine, for the most part. When her brother goes to war and is later declared missing in action, she's absolutely devastated. He was her whole world. True, he left her in the capable hands of their landlady, Celine, but they don't make up a family, not really. So one day Gingersnap decides to listen to the Voice she's been hearing for months. To take a ghost's advice and run away to Brooklyn, to seek out a family she can call her own. She has a blue recipe book with a name and address and a single photograph of a bakery named Gingersnap. She believes this to be the address of her maternal grandmother. But she's not certain of anything, not really. And so her journey begins...
Jayna is a girl on a quest to find a family, to find a place she belongs, to find people to love, to find people who love her back. She is hopeful and hesitant. She wants a family so much...
At the heart of Gingersnap is a friendly courage-inspiring ghost that tells our heroine what to do and guides her in the right direction. She's also got a habit of predicting things. For me this was very annoying. It's one thing for the ghost to predict the horrible telegram about her brother, quite another to have a nagging ghost telling you over and over again that you're going to lose your suitcase. For some readers, this ghost might work, might even be an enjoyable element of the story. For me, it was a big disappointment.
- If you enjoy World War II stories
- If you enjoy supernatural/ghost stories
- If you enjoy coming of age stories
- If you like uplifting family stories about finding a place to belong, about finding a community
- If you enjoy stories set in Brooklyn
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews