Van Leeuwen, Jean. The Missing Pieces of Me.
3Q * 3P * M
Van Leeuwen, Jean. The Missing Pieces of Me. Two Lions/Amazon Encore, 2014. 240p. $17.99. 978-1-4778-4729-9.
Ten-year-old Grace Louise, nicknamed Weezie, lives with her overworked, harsh mother and two younger siblings, Ruth Ann and Jackson. Weezie, a smart, adventurous, thoughtful, and very sad young person, believes that her mother hates her as much as she hates Weezie's father. Though Weezie tries to help her mother, nothing ever turns out the way she plans. One day while preparing everything for their mom's return from work, as she reaches for Gramma Emmeline's china teapot on the top shelf, she slips on a crayon and drops the teapot just as momma walks in. The broken teapot pieces are all Weezie and her mother have left of Gramma Emmeline, and for the rest of the book Weezie tries to get back in her mom's good graces. With her friend Calvin's willingness to search and the help of a new friend, Louella, Weezie decides she needs to search for her father.
Written at the late-third grade level with a fifth-grade main character, selecting an audience for this book may be difficult. The title fits perfectly, as Weezie gathers pieces of her past and the mystery of father; she also treasures the few pieces she has of Gramma Emmeline's teapot.--C.J. Bott.