Seeing Sky-Blue Pink

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. 

7 Replies on “Seeing Sky-Blue Pink

  1. This is the nicest review I’ve ever had in my 25 years of publishing children’s books. I wrote this book straight from my heart, a Valentine to the man who literally saved my young life. He plucked me from an abusive home and gave me…all those things in Sky-Blue Pink and so much more. It’s also a Valentine to the slower-paced books I loved (and still do) such as those of Elizabeth Enright and Eleanor Estes. Thanks for making my day.

  2. I’m happy to hear the story behind SKY-BLUE PINK and even happier that you liked the review. Eleanor Estes is a favorite in our house, too. My daughter loves The Hundred Dresses.

  3. I’ve been in blueberry heaven–it’s a family tradition to go to a local park about thirty miles from my home and pick wild blueberries every August. This year we had to go twice, because the first time we were chased away by a rather overly worried park ranger who said there were going to be 70-mph winds and hail (never came) but we came back the next day in the rare sunshine and got enough blueberries for pancakes for the winter and a blueberry/blackberry crisp.