Monday, January 7, 2013

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: A Tinfoil Sky

Today’s pick:  A Tinfoil Sky by Cyndi Sand-Eveland

Tundra, 2012

From the publisher:
Mel and her mother, Cecily, know what it’s like to live rough, whether it’s on the streets or in the apartment of an abusive man. When Cecily announces that they’ve had enough and that they are going to go home to her mother’s, Mel dreams of security, a comfortable bed, and a grandmother’s love seem to be about to come true. But some mistakes cannot be easily forgiven or erased. Her grandmother is not what Mel expects, and though the local library offers sanctuary, a real home seems beyond her grasp. Mel’s determination to rise above what fate has dealt is about to change that.

Cyndi Sand-Eveland’s work with homeless youth gives her characters an authenticity no reader will forget. Ultimately, a story of hope and acceptance, A Tinfoil Sky is a powerful, can’t-putit- down novel.

My Take: 
I felt as though this story gave me a window on an entirely different life. Mel’s difficult times living on the streets were realistic and heart-breaking. Because I love books so much, I really connected with the idea that the library was a safe and comforting place for Mel, and a place that helped her believe in herself. I loved the characters in this story, even Mel’s grumpy old grandmother who seemed to not like her at all, at the beginning. Mel stays positive, helping others and caring for them even though she needs help herself.

As a writer, I loved the way the ending wasn’t perfect, and left me thinking more about Mel and what might have happened to her. Endings that wrap up too nicely can make an entire story seem unrealistic.

Favourite quote:
About Mel’s library card: “It was a ticket into a world she had longed for, a ticket back to the best times she could remember.”

Other Info:
Cyndi Sand-Eveland lives in British Columbia at the base of a mountain.

Her first book, Dear Toni, won the Silver Birch Express Award in the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading Awards in 2010.
On her website, she says, “…what I didn’t realize for a very long time was that if you want to write, you have to stop talking about writing and actually sit down and do the work.”

This book is nominated for the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading in Silver Birch (Fiction) category for 2013. If you aren't familiar with the Forest of Reading program, here's how it works: Professionals from schools and public libraries nominate a selection of books in a specific category. Students from all over the province read them and then in April they vote for their favourite.

Other books by this author include:
Dear Toni

 Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was dreamed up by the incredible Shannon Messenger, author of Keeper of the Lost Cities. Visit her blog for an up-to-date list of all the bloggers who are participating and posting about middle grade books today!





  1. Sounds like a great book. And one sadly many kids can relate to as they go through their own uncertain home situations these days.

  2. I love this title, and the topic of homelessness and abuse is really important. It sounds great.

  3. I liked this one, too. A lot of students enjoy reading sad books at this time of year, especially in the 7th grade.

  4. This sounds like a good book. I also like the library as a place to go to. Thanks for the review, I love MG books (writing and reading them).

  5. This has been on my to-read list for awhile, but I've been unable to locate a library copy just yet.

    1. Sometimes that happens to me, too. Fingers crossed that you can get one.

  6. Hi Andrea,
    Thank you for taking the time to review A Tinfoil Sky. I appreciate your thoughts. This is a great site, and I especially enjoyed looking through the quote section!
    Best to you,

  7. Thank you for sharing this one. I've written it down and will be getting it as soon as I finish making my way through more MMGM posts!

  8. Wow, Andrea. This sounds like a beautiful and powerful book. I definitely want to read this one. Thank you for the great recommendation!

  9. Sounds like a fantastic book. I probably would have missed it otherwise!


  10. This sounds right up my Middle Grade alley. I am also partial to "imperfect" endings. When it's too wrapped up in a pretty bow it can sometimes feel too "after school special" to me.


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