Friday, July 20, 2012

Review: Pieces of Georgia

Pieces of Georgia
By Jennifer Bryant
Published 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Georgia is an artist, like her mother. But Georgia's mother has died and her art makes her father uncomfortable. A few days after her 13th birthday, Georgia receives a strange gift - a year's free admission to the Brandywine River Museum - and soon, her life begins to change.

As I've mentioned before, I've read nearly all of Bryant's novels (actually, I think having completed this one will mean I've read all her novels in verse). Bryant uses the verse so effectively with the stories she chooses to tell and this was no exception. Georgia is a complicated and interesting character, a girl who I couldn't help but root for and empathize with. She has dreams but she is afraid of them. Bryant does an exceptional job of perfectly capturing the complicated emotions that young teens are just becoming aware of. Her prose is evocative and perfectly descriptive - this is a book about, among other things, art, and Bryant spends a great deal of time describing works of art, drawings, sketches, and paintings. Her prose choices made it very easy for me to imagine the pictures she described. I think the story about Georgia discovering art and her mother would have been strong enough on its own, though there is an additional story line about Georgia's best friend. It didn't detract from my enjoyment of the novel but, as I said, I think the book would have been fine without it as well. Bryant has done a fantastic job of mastering the novel in verse format and I'll continue to read any that she writes, as well as recommend them to my readers.

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