About Trusting True North
“A heartfelt and touching middle-grade book, where map-making serves as a wonderful metaphor for navigating relationships with family, friends, and community during the traumatizing start of the pandemic. Readers will love True and her X-marks-the-spot heart!” ―Lee Edward Födi, author of Spell Sweeper
True North Vincent is struggling after spending months in lockdown because of a virus. With her mom stuck across the border in Canada and her dad working long hours as a nurse at the hospital, True feels responsible for making sure her family stays safe, especially her grandma and her younger brother, Georgie, whose asthma makes him more vulnerable to the virus. She also wishes her older sister, Rose, would be friends with her again instead of texting on her phone.
True finds escape and comfort in working on her maps, a skill she learned from her mother. To keep Georgie entertained, True creates an elaborate treasure map for him to follow that spans the forest beyond her backyard. While exploring, they find a litter of newborn kittens in an old barn. The smallest kitten looks sickly and has been abandoned by the mama cat. True names her Teacup; she knows exactly how it feels to not have a mom around when you need her the most.
True also meets Kyler, who wants to care for the kittens, and True realizes he might not be the bully everyone thinks he is. But when both Teacup and Kyler get sick, True is afraid she won’t be able to help everyone all by herself.
Running out of her own fixes and remedies, True reaches out and realizes that her family does care about her and wants to offer support and guidance to help her find her way through the unexpected challenges the virus and life bring.
This is the first book I’ve read that is set during the pandemic. I loved the way the author, Gina Linko, showed a bit of the way the kids felt. Kind of confused and maybe even a little bit rebellious toward all of the rules that the adults put in place for them.
I loved True. She is a young girl just trying to do her best. She wants to be the best sister she can to her little brother, Georgie. And that has her concocting adventures for him. Which include going to the barn, where they used to go before the life became crazy. I loved how she wanted to make him a treasure map. What a cute, creative girl True is.
But she gets in trouble with her dad and her grandma for going to the barn. Life gets more and more crazy. And soon True must make a very hard choice. Does she follow the rules she knows she’s supposed to. Or does she follow her heart to help someone in need.
I loved the way her mom talked to her at the end. And let her know that her family would always be by her side. This is such a great book! I enjoyed reading it.
I was sent a copy of Trusting True North as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.