Friday, July 6, 2018

Once You Know This by Emily Blejwas

Once You Know This is a middle grade realistic fiction book about a girl trying to save her broken family in the rough areas of Chicago. Fifth-grader Brittany Kowalski is feeling hopeless about a future for her family. Her cat is missing, her grandmother is sick, and her mother's boyfriend is controlling and abusive. To make matters worse, they have no money and often don't eat. With the help of her teacher, she makes a plan for her mother to have a better life and escape.

I enjoyed how the story shows a lot of major problems in the world and in the city of Chicago from the viewpoint of such a young child. Sometimes adults feel the need to shelter young kids from the reality of the world but Brittany already knows some of this. She sees abuse, she lives in poverty, she sees violence, and she sees the issues with funding for Chicago schools. I liked how the author incorporated those elements beyond the basic plot and showed readers what it could be like for a child living in bad areas, the child being told to never go outside after dark. 

This book is inspiring to young children to find their inner strength and can teach others in similar situations that they are not useless and that they have the power, too, to change their lives. Living in the grim reality that she lived in, Brittany's determination and positivity will inspire other children to feel hope, as well, and realize that everybody has a future.

I highly recommend this book, and I cannot wait to see what books the author writes in the future!

Title: Once You Know This
Author: Emily Blejwas
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 256
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars

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