Friday, January 8, 2016

Will Violet Ever Feel Like She Fits In?

Violet Diamond loves her family with all of her heart. Her mom, sister, and grandparents are special to her. Now that she's eleven she is starting to be bothered by strangers asking her if she is adopted. Just because Violet looks different from the blond haired part of her family doesn't mean she isn't part of them. It does get her thinking that she only knows half her family, and she starts to wonder about the relatives she hasn’t met. Since her father died before she ever got to know him, she hasn't had any contact with the African American side of her family. Violet wants to know more and gets her wish when her father's mother has an art gallery showing within driving distance of their house. It's exciting for Violet to see someone who looks like her, even if the encounter doesn’t go quite the way she had hoped. When her new grandmother asks her to come and stay for a week, Violet knows she has to go. Will being away from home give her a new outlook? Will meeting new family members be as easy as she thinks it will be? Is fitting in only about the way we look on the outside? What does it mean to be a “Diamond” and how will Violet change? Don’t miss this unique book about coming to terms with who we are.

I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods. I could really relate to Violet because she loves her family, and she has a great sense of humor. I also like how she collects words, because she reminds me of my best friend, Fairday. I think Violet's worries about not looking like she fits in with her family made her whole outlook change. She was at an age where she wanted to know who she was and she felt like she was missing a whole part of who she was because she didn’t know anyone from her father’s family. I especially like that Violet is like a real diamond, harder and stronger than she knows and full of sparkle. I learned a lot from reading this book and I am so glad I picked it up. Sometimes we don’t stop to think about what it is like to be in someone else’s position and we might not think about how our questions impact them. I would recommend this book to anyone in 3rd grade and up. It's a great book for people who like realistic fiction and who want to see the world from another point of view.  I think after reading it you will see things from Violet’s perspective and hopefully when you see people together you will realize that we can’t tell a thing about relationships from what we see on the surface.  

Has anyone else read The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond? Or have you read another book by Brenda Woods?  We'd love to hear your thoughts!


Happy Reading!
~L


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54 comments:

  1. So glad to hear of this book as I have a friend who having adopted some children from China is struggling to deal with their (and others) questions about why it is they are different.

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    1. Tracy- This would probably be a good book for your friend and their children. I am thinking of a few other books that might be good too. Hopefully I will remember their titles and get them to you. :)

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  2. Sounds like a great book for this topic. I would imagine one would want to have a sense of identity like this. Might be a good one for my step grand daughter. Thanks for the review.

    Betty

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    1. Betty- I thought it was a great book and certainly one that a lot of people can relate to for sure. :) ~F

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  3. I loved this book when I read it. I also thought it dealt with a topic that isn't often seen in middle grade books, but needs to be in today's world.

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    1. Alex- Wonderful to hear that you enjoyed this one too! :) ~F

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  4. Always good to see the world from another point of view

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  5. This sounds like a story my daughters would enjoy - it sounds poignant and the ambiguity in the plot appears to just as affecting :)

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    1. Pat- Definitely! :) ~F

      Claudia- It is a great all around book. I better your daughters will enjoy it. :) ~F

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  6. This sounds like a much needed book. And enjoyable with it.

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    1. Elephant's Child- For sure! :) ~F

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  7. This sounds like it takes on an important topic that you don't see too often in MG/YA literature. Sounds like a wonderful read.

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    1. Heidi- I haven't read many books on this topic, so I agree that it is one you don't see all the time and it is a wonderful book. :) ~F

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  8. I haven't read anything else by this author unfortunately. But I do know what it's like to now know certain members of my family. For ages, I never even knew how many brothers and/or sisters my father had because we never visited any of them. Which seems odd to me because I come from a big family, three brothers, four sisters, and both of my sons know each and every one of them and their children. To this day, I could literally walk past a cousin of mine on the street and not know it. So odd.

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    1. Jeffrey- Thank you so much for sharing. I bet you would be able to relate to Violet because of the fact that she didn't know half her family. It must be hard to have part of your family missing from your life. I am glad your sons know their aunts, uncles, and cousins. :) ~F

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  9. I haven't started on a new book for this year. This sounds wonderful.

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  10. I haven't read this book, but I like the idea. Family is so important. My mother was a foster child and I've done some research on her birth family, but never met any of them. I can understand Violet wanting to know more about her family.

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    1. Beverly- How interesting about your mom. I think there is something inside of us that has a desire to know more about where we come from and the people that came before us. I am glad you were able to find out information about your mom's birth family. :) ~F

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  11. I haven't read this book but I certainly like the premise and I think it's imperative that young teens and preteens should read this book xox ♡

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    1. Luanna- It is definitely a great book for teens and preteens. :) ~F

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  12. Oh I love the idea behind this one. SUCH an important book for today's young people to read.

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  13. This is a new one for me - but it sounds like it'll make a great addition to my class! Thanks for the tip :)

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    1. Jemi- It would be perfect for your class! :) ~F

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  14. I have not read it, but I am sure I saw it somewhere, recently, it look so familliar

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    1. Blodeuedd- Awesome that you have seen it around. It does have a memorable cover. :) ~F

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  15. haven't heard of it, but violet is my fave smell in the world :) and I see name Violet has been very popular in YA books in recent years. I translated ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES last summer and it also had Violet for the lead character

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    1. Dezmond- I like the name violet and the flower. :) Interesting that the name is showing up so many places ! :) ~F

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  16. This is a great story for kids. So many families are mixed. One of my sisters is adopted and her husband is African American, so my nephews are half Asian, half African American. Diversity is a beautiful thing. :) One day my nephews may be curious about their mother's side, their Asian roots. I think it's fabulous to teach kids to be curious about who they are and to seek answers.

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    1. Chrys- Diversity is a beautiful thing. We are all different and getting to know people of all cultures is fun. I have a lot of people in my family from other countries and I learn so much from them. :) ~Stephanie

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  17. This is a great story for kids. So many families are mixed. One of my sisters is adopted and her husband is African American, so my nephews are half Asian, half African American. Diversity is a beautiful thing. :) One day my nephews may be curious about their mother's side, their Asian roots. I think it's fabulous to teach kids to be curious about who they are and to seek answers.

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  18. The fact that Violet "collects words" really surprised me. That's so clever! It's inspired me to think along a new line for my WIP. Thanks, and wishing Brenda Woods much success!

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    1. Lexa- I love the idea of collecting words too! Glad you were inspired. :) ~F

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  19. Violet is my niece's name. She's only two, so a little young for this book. Great review.

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    1. Kelly- She is a little young for this book, but one day she will be ready for it. :) ~F

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  20. Sounds like a good read! Will have to add it to my ever-expanding TBR pile.

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    1. Kate- It is! I hope you enjoy it when you get to it. :) ~F

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  21. This sounds like lovely story!

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  22. Sounds like a very thought provoking read. And the cover is wonderful.

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    1. Sandra- I think it will make a lot of people think. :) ~F

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  23. Sounds like a charming book!

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    1. The Armchair Squid- I really like Violet! :) ~F

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  25. Haven't read this yet but it sounds like a good one. Violet seems like one I can relate to as well.

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  26. This actually sounds like a lovely book. I love the sound of Violet's happy and eager to please character, and she seems like someone who just wants to connect to more of her family so they can all be happy together :) I can definitely admire her for that~

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