this semi-autobiographical novel weaves together some of [Hamiltons] childhood memories of growing up in a warm, extended family in rural Ohio.The real drama, however, is in the tales Valena hears about the people who came before her.Booklist
In this quietly beautiful coming-of-age story, eleven-year-old Valena lives with her family in rural Ohio where she and her cousin share experiences such as surviving a tornado and going to an amazing circus. Yet Valena lives in both the present and the past as she struggles with racism in her daily life and listens to and learns from her mothers tales of her familys proud history. Moving backward and forward in time, these pieces of Valenas life blend to form an extraordinary portrait of the ties that bind a family together over generations.
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