I was bowled over by this book; the debut novel by a talented author.
Narrated by four-year-old Jesika, I could totally imagine her voice, and her child-like take on events was so endearing.
She and her mother live in substandard housing, in a poor neighbourhood, but Jesika loves her baby brother Toby and knows she, in turn, is loved by both him and her mother. Her father has returned to his native Poland and they are left to manage alone in a big city.
Jesika enjoys her playschool and is happy to reach out to a new little girl who joins and appears to be very shy. Paige, however, has some dark secrets that she doesn't even understand herself and my heart went out to the two children as they tacked the issue of secrets being bad and something to be shared with loving adults. It highlighted just how complicated an issue this all is.
Although this book tackled some sensitive subjects, it was done tastefully and sympathetically.
I loved how Jesika and her mother began to settle into the community and find friends among other residents. Everyone needs friends and adults are no exception.