Reviews for Smidgen of Sky


Booklist Reviews 2012 November #2
Ten-year-old Piper Lee DeLuna loves planes, which is no surprise given that her daddy was a pilot and named her after his aircraft. But four years prior, his plane disappeared over the ocean, and now her mama is getting remarried to a man with a 10-year-old of his own. Piper still holds out a smidgen of hope that her daddy is just missing and not dead ("sometimes miracles happen"), and so she launches into efforts to keep mama and Ben from walking down the aisle. Winget's debut touches on themes familiar to middle-grade lit--from the fact that Piper blames herself for her daddy's disappearance to her reluctance to give up the dream of his return to her difficulties envisioning a new future. This sweet story has an old-fashioned feel, and while it mostly grazes the surface of issues, and the ending feels somewhat contrived, it may speak to all those children out there hoping against hope that, somehow, mom and dad will find their way back to each other. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
His plane went missing years ago, but ten-year-old Piper still holds onto the hope that her father is alive, so she's having a difficult time coping with her mother's impending marriage. Resentful of her future stepfather and his bratty daughter Ginger, Piper sets out to sabotage the nuptials. This is a relatable story of grief, acceptance, personal responsibility, and stepfamily dynamics.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #2
A throwback style of storytelling deals with love, loss and new beginnings in a familiar way. Piper Lee DeLuna, 10, is on a mission. Convinced her pilot dad, whose plane plummeted into the Atlantic four years ago, is still alive, Piper plots to bust up her mother's plan to marry prison guard, Ben. The fact that Ben has his own 10-year-old daughter, Ginger, is even more incentive to stop the wedding. Young readers will relate to the squabbles between Piper Lee and Ginger. However, what young readers may find harder to believe is the overall tone of the book. With the 10-year-olds using such phrases as "all riled up," "Boy, howdy" and "Gee willikers," the novel reads like a story from another era; the Georgia setting can't justify this antique-sounding language. Yet a subplot that finds Piper Lee entangled with an Internet predator places the story squarely in the 21st century. Plenty of heart is not enough to make up for the lack of freshness. Kids who spend lots of time with grandma and grandpa might recognize the old-fashioned phrases, but for most, the juxtaposition of the old-time expressions will clash with the contemporary world. This sweet throwback could have used a dash of zest and a pinch of modern dialogue. (Fiction. 8-12)


Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 December #4

Ten-year-old Piper Lee learns to open her heart to a new life after the loss of her father in this quaint Southern-flavored debut novel. It's been four years since the plane Piper's father was flying near their Georgia town disappeared, but she still holds hope that he could be found. Her mother, meanwhile, is planning to marry a man named Ben, netting Piper a new stepfather and an annoying stepsister named Gingerâ??change that makes Piper feel unsettled and disloyal to her father. When Piper's plans to derail the wedding and find her father go terribly wrong, she creates more heartache than she could have imagined. Winget's poignantly flawed characters and honest emotional circumstances draw readers into a story that feels like it's set in a simpler time and placeâ??where kids ride bikes to the library, attend vintage car shows, and parents spout phrases like "cute as a speckled pup." Though a subplot involving the Internet and a potential child molester has an unsatisfying conclusion, Winget provides a cozy, family-centric read with a well-deserved happy ending. Ages 9â??12. Agent: Mary Kole, Movable Type Management. (Nov.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Ten-year-old Piper Lee learns to open her heart to a new life after the loss of her father in this quaint Southern-flavored debut novel. It's been four years since the plane Piper's father was flying near their Georgia town disappeared, but she still holds hope that he could be found. Her mother, meanwhile, is planning to marry a man named Ben, netting Piper a new stepfather and an annoying stepsister named Gingerâ??change that makes Piper feel unsettled and disloyal to her father. When Piper's plans to derail the wedding and find her father go terribly wrong, she creates more heartache than she could have imagined. Winget's poignantly flawed characters and honest emotional circumstances draw readers into a story that feels like it's set in a simpler time and placeâ??where kids ride bikes to the library, attend vintage car shows, and parents spout phrases like "cute as a speckled pup." Though a subplot involving the Internet and a potential child molester has an unsatisfying conclusion, Winget provides a cozy, family-centric read with a well-deserved happy ending. Ages 9â??12. Agent: Mary Kole, Movable Type Management. (Nov.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 January

Gr 3-6--Piper Lee DeLuna thinks that life with her single mom is just fine. When she was six, her pilot father's plane went down over the Atlantic and he was never found, but she's sure that he'll come back someday. Now her mother is getting remarried, and Piper worries that once Mama gets a new last name, Daddy will never find them. Worse, her stepfather-to-be has a bratty daughter named Ginger, and Piper Lee can't imagine them ever being sisters. She comes up with a plan to stop the wedding-first, she locates Ginger's birth mother, who left years ago, hoping the woman will come back. Next she joins an online group looking for information about her lost father. When her plan actually works-in an almost-dangerous way-Piper Lee doesn't feel the happiness she so expected, and she begins to question herself and her memories. Winget's time period is ambiguous, but the gentle story is compelling, and Piper Lee is an instantly likable, flawed character with a good heart. Hand this one to kids who want realistic fiction with just a dash of excitement.--Jamie Kallio, Orland Park Public Library, IL

[Page 128]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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