Wednesday, April 27, 2016

All the Answers by Kate Messner

Ava worries about a lot of things.  She worries so much that sometimes she can't do certain things.  Right now, she is worried about her upcoming math test and the fact that she has lost her pencil.  Ava finds an old pencil in a drawer and discovers that when she writes a question, the pencil answers her.  While testing the pencil with her best friend Sophie, the girls learn that the pencil can only answer questions with definite right or wrong answers but won't predict the future.  It seems like the best thing a worrier like Ava could have, until she asks a question that gives her an unexpected and terrifying answer.

Although there is the fantasy element of a magical pencil, this is really a book about dealing with fear and uncertainty and the messages about that resonated with me. Ava's reliance on the pencil has some expected and unexpected consequences and she grows in what it is that matters to her as the story progresses but it is never didactic.  This is an easy read that seems like a light story but sneaks in something more.

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