Monday, November 3, 2014

Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel by Diana Lopez

Chia is looking forward to a great summer before she begins eighth grade.  She expects to travel to the beach with her family and it seems like her mom is planning the same thing when she comes home with nine new bikinis.  But it turns out that her mom has purchased the bikinis to wear for each of the next nine days before she has a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.  The family takes a trip to a church where people make promesas to God to ask for His help in healing a loved one.  Chia's brilliant little sister promises to clean the bathroom, a hated chore.  Chia doesn't know what she can promise to do but finally settles on taking part in a 5k to raise funds for breast cancer research, promising to find 500 sponsors. 

This book reads like a somewhat light school story but it has depth to it, particularly at the end where Chia finally makes it to the 5k.  The effect the cancer has on Chia's life feels totally true to how an eighth grader would deal with such a blow both in terms of her reaction and the rest of the family.  It sounds very heavy but the story overall never sinks into "problem" book or drama but just deftly integrates a heavy topic into a teen book.