BOOK REVIEW: 42 Miles by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

JoEllen’s parents divorced when she was very young, so she was used to splitting her time between them, shuttling four blocks from one Cincinnati apartment to another. But when her dad moved to the old family farm last year, her life was suddenly divided. Now on weekdays she’s a city girl, called Ellen, who hangs out with her friends, plays the sax, and loves old movies. And on weekends she’s a country girl, nicknamed Joey, who rides horseback with her cousin, Hayden, goes fishing, and listens to bluegrass. So where do her loyalties lie? Who is the real JoEllen? Linked free-verse poems, illustrated with a quirky array of found objects and mementos, create the vivid, realistic portrait of a young girl at a defining moment in her life.

The premise of '42 Miles' by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer was good.  The writing was actually very good.  The difficulty is with the way it was laid out.  It was very difficult to follow the story at times.  I think the attempt to mirror a book of poetry while remaining prose created a conflicting story line.  The way the pages jumped to different ideas while at other points tried to tell a chronological story left me feeling a little out of the loop.  The story and writing has amazing potential but fell flat of what the intentions were.
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42 Miles
About Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
Tracie Vaughn Zimmer is an award-winning children’s author who graduated from The Ohio State University and attained her master’s degree at Miami. Currently, she teaches at her alma mater in the Lakota Local School District near Cincinnati, Ohio. Writing in a variety of genres from historical fiction and poetry to novels-in-verse, Tracie’s six books have received critical acclaim including starred reviews as well as the Schneider Family Book Award. In addition, Tracie has created hundreds of guides for children’s and young adult literature that are available for free on her blog. She has presented at NCTE, IRA and ALA as well as schools and conferences across the country inspiring teachers, librarians and students with her infectious passion for literacy.

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