Life is a physics lesson, and each of us plays a part in both weaving and repairing the fabric of the universe. Both particles and waves of energy link us, bind us, protect us, and remind us that we a part of that tapestry. These are the lessons that Wendy Mass discloses in her latest installment of the Willow Falls series, Graceful.
In this book targeted for ages 8-12, readers will reconnect with familiar characters: Angelina D’Angelo, Grace, Bailey, Amanda, Leo, Rory, Tara, Connor, and David. The latter seven comprise Team Grace, the guardians and advisors for the next Willow Falls Protector. In a multi-genre format—with inventor’s journal entries, letters, poems, diary entries, text messages, emails, and traditional narrative—the characters relay their thoughts and perspectives.
Before the magical vortex turns Grace’s life upside down, the most magical thing that had happened to her was baking a chocolate chip cookie in her Easy-Bake Oven with her “bestie,” Bailey. Grace’s newly bestowed powers initially don’t extend beyond producing pizzas, until she pulls her team out of time, casts forgetting spells, and hears others’ thoughts. Although time travel out-weirds being stuck in time, Grace learns—through the mentorship of previous Town Protector, Angelina—how to focus her power and how to prepare for the “big thing” about to befall Willow Falls. As Grace begins to see the invisible bonds that connect us all, she also draws on her ability to rearrange the pieces. As the magic of the vortex in Willow Falls unravels, Grace has to decide both whether and how to intervene.
This book is “totes awesomesauce” in its ability to share the magic of quantum physics, making many of its theories accessible to a young audience. Other unique elements of the text include a Chapter Fourteen and a Half, the ancient Hebrew idea of Tikkun Olam, a discussion of spirit animals, a geography lesson invited by each postcard, and gems like “life is a dance between making things happen and letting things happen” (172). Both light and deep, Mass’ story entertains while it enlightens.
- Posted by Donna