Monday, June 14, 2021

Paper Heart by Cat Patrick - a story about coping after a devastating change

Why you want to read this book…

I was so interested to find out that this story takes up after the events of Cat Patrick’s other book, Tornado Brain (see my review of Tornado Brain here). One of the cool things about this story is that it’s told from the other sister’s perspective! This story has a sad start, since the main character Tess is dealing with the loss of her best friend, Colette. She decides to go to the family cabin with her aunt and uncle, separating herself from her twin Frankie. Tess meets some new friends and slowly begins to heal.

A girl wearing shorts with her hands in her pockets standing on top of a large paper heart that is torn into two large pieces An aspect of this book that I loved was that Tess goes to an art day camp, and tries experimenting with different art techniques. There’s also a boy, Izzy, who becomes important in her life. I thought it was really realistic the way her mom and aunt didn’t realize how much she needed help at first, but did end up getting her counseling. This is a really absorbing read. If you enjoyed Tornado Brain, you’ll love this one too, but you can definitely read it on its own.





Here’s the summary from the publisher…

Tess has always understood her role in her family. She is supposed to be the "okay" one. The one no one has to worry about. But all Tess does is worry, constantly picking at her fingers every time a new worry arises. Still grieving her best friend's death, she is consumed by the fear that everything was her fault and her sadness that Colette is never coming back. Worse still, it seems like everyone else has found a way to move on, even her twin sister Frankie. When her mom decides a change of location might do her good, Tess finds herself on an airplane bound for her aunt's house in small town Wyoming and a summer vacation attending art camp.

Tess thinks she might never be able to move on from losing Colette but her quirky but determined cousin Kennedy and new friend Izzy are determined to help. When Tess becomes convinced that Colette's ghost might be haunting her, Kennedy and Izzy find new ways for Tess to make peace with the past and finally let go of the grief that has been haunting her heart.

Paper Heart by Cat Patrick was published by Penguin Random House in 2021. I read an e-version from my local public library.

Teaching resources: Here's an article from Seattle Refined interviewing Cat Patrick about her inspiration for Frankie's character and writing characters we might not see as often in children's stories.

If you’re looking for another thought-provoking, maybe funny, or maybe both, middle grade book to read, check out the list for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday on Greg Pattridge's blog.