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This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A debut middle grade novel about a girl named Ratchet and her quest to make a friend, save a park, and find her own definition of normal. Ratchet tells her story through the assignments in her homeschool journal.

If only getting a new life were as easy as getting a new notebook.
But it's not.

It's the first day of school for all the kids in the neighborhood. But not for me. I'm homeschooled. That means nothing new. No new book bag, no new clothes, and no friends – old or new. The best I've got is this notebook. I'm supposed to use it for my writing assignments, but my dad never checks. Here's what I'm really going to use it for:

Ratchet's Top Secret Plan
Project Goal: turn my old, recycled, freakish, friendless, motherless life into something shiny and new.

This year, I'm going make something change.

Goodreads Summary

Ratchet isn't your average girl.  Her mother passed away when she was very young and her unusual father gives Ratchet a "weird kid" vibe to the other children her age.  Ratchet is homeschooled and doesn't have many friends.  Ratchet decides she wants to model herself after her mother instead of her environmentalist, homeschooling father.  The more Ratchet discovers about her mother, however, the more questions she has and the more she learns about herself.  The reader will love getting acquainted with Ratchet and her father.  

The book is told from a diary point of view.  Ratchet writes lists, thoughts, poems, etc... and really allows the reader to get inside her head.  She is funny, brave, and sarcastic-easy to like.  It will feel like the reader is reading streams of emotion rather than just words.  When Ratchet finds something belonging to her mother, she begins to investigate and learn about the past.  Not all is as it seems.  It was easy to fall in love with Ratchet and her father.  I loved how I felt like I really knew the characters at the end of the novel.  This book is perfect for middle grade readers. 

4 Stars

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Ruty B. said...:

    I love the cover and the book sounds like a nice read
    Great review

  1. Thanks for the lovely review!
    Nancy J. Cavanaugh

  1. bn100 said...:

    Interesting character and name

  1. Susan T. said...:

    I can always relate to characters who feel "different" in school. Maybe we all do!