Thursday, December 18, 2014

MG Fiction: What Flowers Remember by Shannon Wiersbitzky

20906586Delia and Old Red have been friends ever since he began teaching her how to grow his families heirloom flowers.   Old Red and Delia share many stories together, making him feel more like a grandfather to her.  They even started a seed and flower selling business together, but when Old Red starts to experience difficulty in recalling peoples names and is forgetting things, Delia becomes concerned by what is happening to him.  When Old Red moves into a nursing home, Delia comes up with a plan to catalog all of his memories by collecting stories and photographs from his friends and neighbors in town.  

What Flowers Remember is a glimpse of the impact of Alzheimer's on both the person experiencing the disease and in this case also on a young friend.  Delia illustrates how Alzheimer's can be a difficult thing to understand.  The feelings of how can they forget the people and most important events in their life?  Will they be able to remember me?  It's a sad story, but one  in which Shannon Wiersbitzky draws on her own experiences to show the love and helplessness of someone close to us beginning to loose their memories.   I so enjoyed how Delia created a scrapbook or photo album about Old Red, and when they were listening to music, it reminded of some of the strategies that I used with my patients as a speech pathologist.   There were some light romantic moments between Delia and Tommy, which helped to break up some of the sadder moments.  

Favorite line:
When Tommy and Delia were standing close to one another..."It made my stomach tilt like I was on a ride at the fair.  The kind where I got off feeling sort of woozy, but all I wanted to do was to run back around and get in line so I could go all over again."

An ebook copy was provided by the publisher for consideration for the 2014 Cybils award in Middle Grade fiction.  

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