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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Amelia Peabody lives in a small town where nothing changes. And that's just fine by her. After losing her big sister, Clara, a few years ago, Amelia can't handle any more change. But when she starts eighth grade, she accidentally receives a letter that Clara had written to herself. In it, there's a list of things she'd wanted to do before the end of middle school and never finished, like get on the softball team and throw an awesome birthday party on the lake. Amelia wonders if it's a sign from Clara. Maybe if she completed the list, her heart would stop hurting so much, and she could go back to being her old self. But as she makes her way through, Amelia finds that there's no going back, only forward. And she realizes she'll have to put her own spin on Clara's list to grow and change in the ways she needs to. K. A. Holt's beautiful new novel is about grieving and growing up, and the ripples loss creates for a girl, a family, and a community.…

From You to Me

by K A Holt

Overall Book Review:

From You to Me is a beautifully written, emotionally charged novel with a look into how grief can affect people differently. Author K. A. Holt tells the story of Amelia, an 8th grader who has been dealing with the accidental death of her sister for the past three years. She has come to see herself as this little island of grief and sadness while losing a sense of who she is. After accidentally receiving her sister Clara’s letter, written in 5th grade to be opened in 8th grade, Amelia emerges from her ‘island’ with some help from her best friend, Taylor. However, emerging from her grief is a process, not an instant transformation and requires a lot of help from those who love her.

Clara’s letter is a list and as part of her emergence Amelia decides that she is going to do the things on the list that Clara never had the chance to do. Not only does this give Amelia something to focus on besides her grief, but it gives her a chance to open up to others. In turn, others open up to her and she realizes she’s not alone in her grief and sorrow, it’s just that others have different ways of dealing with it. This realization then allows Amelia to find happiness again, through the love of family and friends. Luckily, Amelia has friends who say things like: “The best part of being human is being a human. We are all whiteboards that can be covered in terrible words, erased and recovered in better words.” This was definitely something Amelia needed to hear in order to realize she can be defined by something other than her grief. Her friends help her transform into someone that is no longer consumed by grief, but rather as someone who is beginning to find happiness again.

From You to Me by K A Holt is a moving novel that will not only appeal to those that have gone through such tragedies, but for any reader that likes to see a character go through an emotional transformation and come out better for it.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic Press (A Scholastic Imprint)

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None 

Violence/Gore:  Multiple mentions of character’s sister’s death caused by drowning; brief mention of another character’s sister dying after having jumped into too shallow water. 

Sex/Nudity:  Husband and wife hug, hold hands and briefly kiss.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death, grief.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I remember as a young girl sneaking out of my bedroom to read by the hall light my parents left on, just so I could finish an exciting book. I’ve always loved books and reading is somewhat of a passion for me–something I’m passing on to my kids. I have four children and I have a hard time making them turn out the light when they say, “But I just got to the good part”.