Tending To Grace by Kimberly Newton Fusco

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Cornelia is 14 years old and she lives with her mom and her mom's boyfriend, Joe. She is a very quiet girl who likes to read and keep to her self. She doesn't talk very much because she has a really bad stutter and she gets really nervous and embarrassed when she tries to speak. Her mom and Joe decide to go to Vegas, but they are not taking Cornelia with them. Instead, they drop her off at her Great Aunt Agatha's house. Agatha has been known to be very peculiar, and to the town's people, she is known as the Crow Lady. When Cornelia first moves in with Agatha all that she brings with her is a crate of books that she has already read. Agatha does not think that she needs to be reading all the time, and she thinks that Cornelia needs to practice speaking more in front of people. She wants her to be practicing so that she can get used to talking and so that other people don't have to talk for her.

Agatha and Cornelia argue very often. Cornelia hates the fact that Agatha almost never cleans. She could really care less about what her house looks like and what other people think of her. She has spider webs in all of the cabinets and drawers in the house. Cornelia also found what she thinks is mouse poop in some of the cabinets. When she decides to clean the house one day while Agatha is out in the fields, she finds a box of clothes. But these are not just any kind of clothes, they are baby clothes. Agatha walks in and sees that Cornelia is kind of going through her stuff, and she gets very upset. This is just one of the many times that they stop talking to each other for days at a time.

I would recommend this book to girls the ages of 14-16. Some people could relate to the same situation that Cornelia is in and they might be able to see how she handles the problems that she faces by staying strong and trying to believe herself.





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