HomeBooks by AgeAges 9-12The Secret Hum of Daisies, by Tracy Holczer | Book Review
The Secret Hum of a Daisy By Tracy Holczer

The Secret Hum of Daisies, by Tracy Holczer | Book Review

Elizabeth Varadan | The Children’s Book Review | December 20, 2014

The Secret Hum of a Daisy By Tracy HolczerThe Secret Hum of Daisies

By Tracy Holczer

Age Range: 10 and up

Hardcover: 320 pages

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (May 1, 2014)

ISBN-13: 978-0399163937

What to Expect: Humor combined with pathos and an upbeat ending.

Twelve-year-old Grace and her mother have moved from one town to another all her life. Finally, after nine months with Mrs. Greene and her daughter Lacey, Grace feels she’s found a home and a sister. The night she balks at another move, her mother takes a walk, falls into a nearby river, and drowns.

This is the background to the book’s opening, when Grace is attending her mother’s funeral and living in Auburn Valley with a grandmother she’s never known. Meanwhile, Grace and Lacey have a plan: If Grace makes herself obnoxious enough, she’ll be sent back to live with the Greenes.

But Grandma accepts Gracie’s refusal to live in the main house, her slovenly dress, her sulkiness, her various disobediences, with forbearance. Grace starts making friends in the new community, despite herself. And she starts finding folded or welded cranes in unexpected places. Her mother had supplemented odd jobs by making sculptures of cranes, so each new crane seems an omen. Following their “clues”, Grace starts solving mysteries her mother never explained.

This is a tender story, portraying the deep agony of loss, the confusion of guilt, and the slow thawing of a numbed heart. Slowly, Grace unravels each of her parents’ stories and comes to understand her grandmother is a person dealing with losses of her own.

“I didn’t even realize until right then that I’d been lost. Not just since Mama died, but before then too. If I was honest, I left a little piece of myself behind in every place we’d ever lived, felt so much pressure that I had to worry about things when Mama didn’t.”

This book will appeal to young readers whose families are or have been transient or who have unresolved family issues.

Add this book to your collection: The Secret Hum of Daisies

About the Author

Tracy Holczer lives in Southern California. The Secret Hum of the Daisy is her debut. For more information, visit: TracyHolczer.com

The Secret Hum of Daisies, by Tracy Holczer, was reviewed by Elizabeth Varadan. Discover more books about moving and loss by following along with these tags: Books About Moving House and Books on Loss.

Elizabeth Varadan writes for children and adults. Her middle-grade mystery, Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls (published June 15, 2015), is set in Victorian London and she is currently working on Book Two. Varadan loves to read and write about the Victorian Era and blogs about the many things she uncovers in her research. Visit: <a href="http://elizabethvaradansfourthwish.blogspot.com">elizabethvaradansfourthwish.blogspot.com</a> and <a href="http://victorianscribbles.blogspot.com">victorianscribbles.blogspot.com</a>

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