Most of the Cybils finalists for the middle grade fiction category were skewed toward the higher end of middle grade, more appropriate for the 10-12 crew than for kids who are 8-9 years old. That said, those of us who served on the nominating panel read — and loved — some wonderful books for the younger set. Candice Ransom’s Seeing Sky-Blue Pink is one of them.
This isn’t an action-packed book. There’s nothing nerve-wracking or edgy about it. But it’s a book that I would have read and loved with a passion when I was eight years old. I would have kept it on a special place on my shelf and wanted to do all the things that Maddie got to do.
Maddie is eight years old herself, and she’s got a lot to deal with when the book opens. She’s just moved to a new house in the country from her old house in town, and she has a brand new stepfather. He’s not the stereotypical evil step-parent. He’s loving and funny and kind, and he introduces Maddie to a delicious summer of new experiences in her new home that almost make up for the special sundaes she used to eat with her mother on their shopping days in town.
The characters in Seeing Sky-Blue Pink are likable and memorable. The language is simple and lovely. If you long for the days when kids enjoyed old-fashioned pleasures like staring at sunset skies, treasure-hunting in creeks, and building tree houses, you’ll feel right at home in these pages.