Book Review of Close Yet Far
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The Children’s Book Review
Written by Roberta R. Carr and Sierra Treewater
Illustrated by Collette Treewater and Deb Strand
Ages 8+ | 224 Pages
Publisher: Roberta R. Carr | ISBN-13: 979-8218137717
What to Expect: Friendship, Competition, Bullying, Homelessness, and Identity.
Written collaboratively by a grandmother and middle-grade granddaughter team, Close Yet Far offers a realistic and thought-provoking glimpse inside the culture and relationships of a typical middle-grade school – including the darker aspects of politics, bullying, and privilege.
Coral and Shay are both eighth graders, but that’s where the comparison ends. Coral has everything a girl could wish for: she’s popular and intelligent, with nice clothes, loving parents, and plenty of options in life. Shay lives in a tent in a homeless shelter, with barely enough to eat and the weight of responsibility for her mother and herself hanging over her. Their worlds collide only when both girls become finalists in a school speech competition.
For Coral, winning is about her reputation and her status with her friends, but for Shay, it’s a ticket to college, cash, and a new life for her and her mother. In managing the line between competition and bullying, Coral will find she has much to learn about the world.
Despite their differences, Coral and Shay are both compelling, believable characters; through their eyes, the novel teaches essential lessons about empathy for others. The school principal is also a key character playing his own game of manipulation, offering readers thought-provoking insights into systemic social justice issues. Best of all, the story provides a little touch of magic, and a large helping of positivity, making this read both instructive and uplifting.
Close Yet Far is a compelling, thoughtful, and enjoyable read—perfect for the classroom or summer reading.
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About the Authors
Sierra Treewater, a 7th grader at Davidson Middle School in San Rafael, California, enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and two dogs. Her interests include fashion, make-up, jewelry, and the 49ers. She listens to all types of music and plays club volleyball. Her parents have instilled a love of travel inside her. She enjoys immersing herself in other cultures and looks forward to filling her passport with stamps from countries around the world.
Roberta R. Carr became a full-time writer after a rewarding business career at Kaiser Permanente. She enjoys creating slice-of-life stories that entertain as well as stir new thoughts. Her travel experiences often weave their way into her plots. She has published five novels and two children’s books and helped her husband write a memoir.
To learn more about her work, please visit www.robertacarr.com.
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