Foreverland -- a middle grade novel about friendship, courage & dealing with loss

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Middle school is hard for everyone. Often friendships change. There are new people to meet and new ideas or perhaps new and different schools. Add in the stress of your sister finding a new passion and new boyfriend and not having time for you plus your parents are getting divorced. Yup, life can be tough. What is an intelligent, germaphobic girl to do? Well runaway to the last place she remembers a happy family memory--the amusement park. That is the setting of today's book, Foreverland by Nicole C. Kear. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12 and is being released today!

Margaret is one of those kids who you wouldn't expect to run away. Yet she decides to go and live at the small amusement park her family use to go to every year. The one problem is she doesn't think it through. While there though she meets a mysterious boy who seems to be around her age. He keeps appearing and disappearing but helping her through it. He is confident and a bit carefree. He seems to know the inner workings of the amusement park and knows the employees. The head of security has it in for him and calls him "Boy Wonder." Then there is the scary girl that serves food that seems to care about him. Margaret and Jamie are very different yet help each other through very different losses and life's turns. 

This story is very interesting and a bit of a page turner. As the story unfolds the reader learns the whys. Why Margaret ran away from home, why Jamie is living there, why he doesn't want to go back home and so much more. It is a story about friendship, loneliness and courage. It is an adventure and it is about dealing with life. There are many messages and many lessons to be learned in this book. It has everything from the feeling of confidence a youth has to be on his or her own to the actual feelings of insecurity when actually trying to be. There are feelings of losing friends, parents and that sense of family security as well as feelings of finding new people who care. Plus the story itself is very interesting. One learns a bit about the inner workings of an amusement park and its rides as a bonus. Think about where you would sleep in a small amusement park if you were going to live there. 

I really enjoyed it and found the ending even better than I thought it would be. I know Hazel now has it in her to read pile. I hope you will check it out.