EVERY SHINY THING, by Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison, Amulet Books/Abrams Book/Abramskids


In this beautifully constructed middle-grade novel, told half in prose and half in verse, Lauren prides herself on being a good sister, and Sierra is used to taking care of her mom. When Lauren’s parents send her brother to a therapeutic boarding school for teens on the autism spectrum and Sierra moves to a foster home in Lauren’s wealthy neighborhood, both girls are lost until they find a deep bond with each other. But when Lauren recruits Sierra to help with a Robin Hood scheme to raise money for autistic kids who don’t have her family’s resources, Sierra has a lot to lose if the plan goes wrong. Lauren must learn that having good intentions isn’t all that matters when you battle injustice, and Sierra needs to realize that sometimes, the person you need to take care of is yourself.

Out April 2018


I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Another gorgeous cover.  I hope they use it on their final copy.

Absolutely perfect. The alternating between characters, one POV written in prose and the other, in verse, was such a unique method of writing.  I’ve never seen it before now in a middle-grade level, and I’ve never been drawn to stories told in verse before like I was with “Every Shiny Thing.”  Sierra’s POV is written via verse, and, Lauren’s is written in prose. Each have their own family issues and problems and are developed nicely as the plot progresses moving in and out of sub-plots, twists and turns.  The pace is helped along via the alternating POV and you get to see inside each girl’s mind clearly and with a precision that develops their character arcs smoothly and pushes them towards their final goals expertly.

This book will generate a wide range of emotions. You will feel horrible for Sierra’s situation and understand Lauren’s anger and frustration at losing her older special needs brother. It’s a hard thing for siblings to understand adult decisions and often struggle with the end result to choices being made for them. This is clearly defined in both Sierra’s and Lauren’s families.

Each girl faces a moral dilemma that has to be resolved, each girl has been drawn to the other because of what’s happening in their respective lives.  There is a need for mutual support and understanding that only the girls can provide to one another.  Subjects surrounding shop lifting, lying and stealing are addressed wonderfully and I’m glad to see such topics being covered in middle-grade novels because there is very little materials on these subjects out there right now.

The authors’ voices are sensitive and authentic and flows ideally throughout the story.  The conflict and tension is well-placed and dealt with successfully as the book progresses toward plot climax resolution and conclusion.

This book is realistic in setting and situation. The momentum of the written prose will keep you turning pages right up to the end and the verse will keep you emotionally engaged. I loved, loved, loved this book.

Some may argue that it’s too long, but I believe because of the style of writing used, the length of the book was necessary for the story to unfold perfectly and conflict to be resolved properly. In fact, I really can’t find anything to complain about, except to say I was sad when the last page was turned.

I gave this book:



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