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Sway by Amber McRee Turner

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
For four long months, ten-year-old Cass has been dreaming of the day her mom will come home. But when Toodi’s welcome back party takes a turn for the disastrous, Cass finds herself stuck alone with her dull-as-dirt dad, who insists that they set off for the summer on a mysterious adventure—just the two of them.

It turns out Cass’s dad has some big-time surprises up his sleeve. Once they hit the road in an old RV named The Roast, he introduces her to the amazing power of “Sway,” a seemingly magical force that can bring inspiration and joy to people in major need of help.

Cass can think of one particular person who could really use some Sway. If only she could track down Toodi, Cass knows she could convince her mom to come home. But with the help of a little home-spun magic, Cass realizes that the things she needs most have always been within her reach.

Goodreads Summary

Turner wrote an interesting, child friendly novel that looks into the thoughts of a ten year old girl in an out-of-the ordinary situation. Cass’s mother is a volunteer rescuer and her father is a janitor. Douglas, Toodi, and Cass Nordenhaur live next to her Uncle Clay, Aunt Jo, and Cousin Syd. Douglas and his brother Clay planned a party to honor Toodi’s return home after being gone four months. Rather than celebrating, however, Cass’s mother comes home with life-changing news. Toodi is leaving Cass’s father for another man and moving to Florida to be with him and his family. Hearing this news, Cass’s father packs up the mobile home he purchased so he and Cass could travel with Toodi on her rescue trips and takes Cass on a long vacation. During this time, Cass learns valuable lessons about “Sway” and helping people in need. 

    Curious and creative, Cass has a journal she “noodles” in and is passionate about the people and things she cares about. Funny traditions Cass firmly believes in permeate most of her actions and thoughts. Cass is sincere and imaginative. Douglass Nordenhaur is a giving, hardworking man, and an excellent father. Nervous and kind, Cass’s father is a wizard with tools. Amber McRee Turner’s novel is perfect for a young audience. Children aged nine and up of any gender will learn and enjoy reading Sway. The diction used by Turner will be enjoyed by her young readers. Made up words and fun comparisons appreciated by school age children contribute to the appeal of Sway. Five out of five stars seem appropriate for Turner’s work.  

5 Stars

*Reviewed by Kristin*

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