Friday, March 18, 2016

Middle Grade Review ~ Listening for Lucca ~ Suzanne LaFleur

Listening for LuccaListening for Lucca by Suzanne LaFleur
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Paranormal
Source: Purchased hardcover (for my younger daughter)
Rating: 3.5 Bookworms
Challenges: Bookish Resolutions, #ShelfLove

"I'm obsessed with abandoned things." Siena's obsession began a year and a half ago, around the time her two-year-old brother Lucca stopped talking. Now Mom and Dad are moving the family from Brooklyn to Maine hoping that it will mean a whole new start for Lucca and Siena. She soon realizes that their wonderful old house on the beach holds secrets. When Siena writes in her diary with an old pen she found in her closet, the pen writes its own story, of Sarah and Joshua, a brother and sister who lived in the same house during World War II. As the two stories unfold, amazing parallels begin to appear, and Siena senses that Sarah and Joshua's story might contain the key to unlocking Lucca's voice.

Listening for Lucca was a sweet story. There were many elements I really liked but as I sat down to write my review, I found it hard to say exactly what the story was trying to convey - its message, if you will. Still, I liked it and am happy to have read one of my younger daughter's favorite books.

Siena and her little brother, Lucca, and their family, have moved from Brooklyn to Maine in an attempt to ease tension - live a more relaxed lifestyle - in hopes Lucca will speak again. Siena has a special gift - she sees things from the past - in fact, the house her family has moved to is one she's been dreaming about for years. Once they begin getting settled, Siena, and Lucca as well, experience some odd things which have Siena wondering how it is they really ended up here.

The story alternates between the present - Siena making friends, playing with Lucca - and the past - Siena getting the story of a brother and sister who once lived in their house, through trance-like states and/or dreams. There are similarities between Siena and Lucca and Sarah and Joshua, and Siena ends up setting out to help Sarah and Joshua in the past in order to repair things with Lucca in the present.

I liked the story overall. I enjoyed getting to know Siena and her family. I also enjoyed the historical element of Sarah and Joshua's life during WWII. The paranormal element was also well done even thought it's not exactly explained. That Siena is such a compassionate you girl (14 yo) and is willing to do anything she can to help her brother made her very likable. And I, of course, felt for Sarah and Joshua as the dealt with the repercussions of war. The story flowed well and I can understand why this is on my daughter's list of favorites.

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