Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Children's Book Review: 'A Smidgen of Sky' by Dianna Dorisi Winget

A Smidgen of Sky
by Dianna Dorisi Winget
Harcourt Children's Books, 2012

Ten-year old Piper DeLuna is not happy about her mother's upcoming wedding. Piper's dad was a pilot whose plane crashed in a storm about four years ago, but his body was never found, so Piper still holds out hope that he may be alive somewhere. Piper's mom is now engaged to Ben Hutchings, a prison guard, who has a daughter Piper's age.

Unfortunately, Ginger is nothing like Piper. Piper wants to be a pilot, like her dad. Ginger wants to be a professional cheerleader. The girls have an antagonistic relationship, until it occurs to Piper that she may be able to prevent her mother from marrying Ginger's father if she is able to get Ben back together with his estranged first wife, Ginger's mom.

While doing research to hunt down Tina Liman, Piper stumbles upon a “people finder” who offers to help Piper find her father. Piper's plan to foil her mother's wedding plans works better than she expected, but she never could have anticipated the dangerous consequences that result from it.

First-time novelist Dianna Dorisi Winget hits the ground running with A Smidgen of Sky. Piper is a likable  believable character and the situation that she finds herself in escalates organically into a complex and thrilling climax. While the characters do face real danger, the descriptions are respectfully circumspect, making this book appropriate for older elementary school and pre-teen readers.

Dianna Dorisi Winget writes fiction and nonfiction for young readers. She is a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest and lives in the mountains of north Idaho with her husband, daughter, and two canine buddies. A Smidgen of Sky is her first novel. www.diannawinget.com

Renée Vaillancourt McGrath has worked at Montana Public Radio as a program host since 2002. Her background is in librarianship and she currently works as a freelance editor, blogger, and website developer. Check out more of her book reviews at reneesreads.com.

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