A Drop of Hope

Contemporary novels for younger readers are getting better and better these days. With focus on character, Keith Calbrese writes a tender novel of belief in magic, family, and finding oneself.

The Story: The last thing Ernest Wilmette wants to do is organize his grandpa’s attic. Especially now that his grandpa is dead. Still, a promise is a promise. As Ernest quickly discovers, his grandpa’s attic is not quite what it seems. When local boy Ryan accompanies Ernest to Thompkins Well, both boys discover that the objects from the attic have power – and that Ernest’s grandpa has been hiding big secrets from him. With the help of Ryan’s childhood friend Lizzy, a girl abused by her relatives and raised by her single mom, the three kids will discover that Ernest’s grandpa not only knew the magical truth of Thompkins Well, but also was hiding one of the most important secrets that the small town of Cliffs Donnelly, Ohio could never imagine.

My Thoughts: This book was rather uniquely formatted. The POVs are somewhat messy and it can be disarming to find oneself reading about a character that we might (if lucky) come back to reading about. Still, the characters we are reading about are delightful. They feel like real characters with real problems; they are complex and lovable. The main trio is particularly endearing as there is so much in them that readers can relate to.

Parental Advisories: The book is fairly clean. It deals in damaged family relationships, death, and crime, but it does so in a family-friendly manner.

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