Review written by Kristen Julia Anderson, Teen Librarian
Review of: Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin
Recommended Age/Grade: Middle School, 5th-8th grade
This review is based on an Advanced Reader’s Copy.
Expected Release Date April 12, 2016
Life sometimes takes us places we never dreamed of going only to leave us right where we belong. In Melanie Conklin’s debut novel, Counting Thyme, she shares the story of middle school student and middle sister Thyme Owens. Thyme’s family moves from San Diego to NYC because her younger brother, Val, who has a rare form of cancer, is part of a drug trial taking place in the city. Her parents’ main focus is her brother; her older sister, Cori, quick to make new friends, is hardly ever around, leaving Thyme mostly on her own. Despite her “middle-child” syndrome position, Thyme proves to be brave and mature, though she does have her, understandable, moments of jealousy and loneliness.
Thyme loves her family, especially her brother, but she misses her best friend and Grandmother, so at first all she wants to do is get back to the place she still calls home, San Diego. However, when Thyme starts to make new friends at her new school and even meets a boy (a first crush!) she starts to have mixed feelings over her initial wish to move.
Counting Thyme is for anyone who has ever been (or felt like) the new kid, an outsider or felt caught in a life s/he doesn’t quite understand or easily fit. Conklin shows how sometimes the very changes we fear the most are the very ones that will help us grow the most.
Highly recommended for fans of realistic fiction!