One of the things that we love most about books are that they make us feel less alone, and remind us that other people are also experiencing the things that we are.
Author Barbara Dee is taking on a tough topic in her latest book, Violets Are Blue. She wrote about addiction – making it relatable to tweens and making them feel less alone. The book has gotten some amazing reviews.
“Barbara Dee has done it AGAIN! She tackles tough topics with such great care. She is to middle schoolers today what Judy Blume was to me in the 80’s. I give Violets Are Blue ALL the stars and thumbs up.” – Amanda Jones, 2021 School Library Journal Co-Librarian of the Year
“Wren’s problems and her pluck will keep readers interested in this sincere story about starting over… A touching, realistic story about a mother-daughter relationship and its ups and downs.” –Kirkus
“Dee addresses with aplomb important topics such as opioid addiction, divorce, bullying, and moving. This inspired novel deftly depicts the self-doubt and loneliness that many children (and adults) feel.” –School Library Journal
“[F]requently poignant… With flawed, realistic characters and dynamics, this reconciliatory novel is a believable balm for young people at the mercy of adult choices and scenarios.” –Publishers Weekly
So what’s it about, “Twelve-year-old Wren loves to reinvent herself, whether through her passion for special effects makeup or trying out a different name. These experiments in identity allow her to escape into a different life, where her best friend doesn’t act like she hates her and she isn’t caught in the middle of her parents’ divorce. Moving to a new town seems like the perfect opportunity for a fresh start, and everything falls into place as Wren starts making friends and lands the job of makeup artist for the school’s production of Wicked. But Wren is so caught up in finding herself that she doesn’t focus on her mom’s erratic behavior. When an opening night disaster throws her mom’s opioid addiction into the spotlight, Wren realizes that some problems can’t be covered up with a little makeup, but require support, forgiveness, and rebuilt trust.”
Here’s the trailer –
Violets Are Blue tackles the universal middle grade concerns of friendship, family, and identity with the same care and insight Dee brings to the challenging topic of addiction. Through Wren’s authentic voice, Dee captures a common issue that is often treated as taboo, providing kids with the tools to reach out when a problem is too much to take on alone. Wren’s interest in special effects makeup brings a unique flair and levity to a story with extra appeal to drama kids of all stripes – whether they’re assisting backstage, starring in the school play, or avidly watching YouTube tutorials.
Barbara Dee is the author of twelve middle grade novels published by Simon & Schuster, including Violets Are Blue, My Life in the Fish Tank, Maybe He Just Likes You, Everything I Know About You, Halfway Normal, and Star-Crossed. Her books have earned several starred reviews, have been shortlisted for many state book awards, and have been named to best-of lists including the The Washington Post’s Best Children’s Books, the ALA Notable Children’s Books, the ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project List, the NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, and the ALA Rainbow List Top Ten. Barbara lives with her family, including a naughty cat named Luna and a sweet rescue hound named Ripley, in Westchester County, New York.
Where can you find the author?
The book, Violets Are Blue, will release on October 12th.