I love books about people who love books. In the words of Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables  by Lucy Maud Montgomery), the characters are kindred spirits, who understand the happiness books bring, and that the stories within its page give readers exactly what they need.

Canadian author Shari Green must be a true book lover because her characters in Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess ($12.95, Pajama Press) certainly are.

There is Macy McMillan, who would rather get lost in a story, but who has to make centrepieces for her mom’s wedding, and pack her room as they are moving from the house she grew up in to a home she now has to share with her stepdad and his twin girls. She is also fighting with Olivia, her best friend since she transferred to Hamilton Elementary from Braeside School for the Deaf, and to make matters worse, her sixth grade teacher assigned them a family tree project.

Then her mom sends her to help their 86-year-old neighbour Iris Gillan, who doesn’t sign, pack as she is moving to a nursing home. A friendship grows between the pair as Macy helps Iris go through her books – keep, donate and recycle – and they learn more about each other.

“I love books”, she (Iris) says.

That’s obvious enough.
But still
hasn’t she heard
of libraries?

Once again she flips to a new page in the notebook.

“If you love something
you should love it extravagantly.”…

On a fresh page
I write

And if you love books?

If you love books
read a great many books.
If you love to sing
sing loudly
and often
Whatever you do
do it with all your heart.

The book is written in free prose, which makes it a quick read.

Macy is a wonderful character, and it’s amazing to watch her grow and come to terms with a life that is being forced on her.

Iris is also fabulous. Not only is she a book lover, she is also the believer in the power of cookies, and in her younger days delivered messages with cookies, each type telling the recipient something different – chocolate chunk cookies, Iris says, tells people everything will be OK; sugar and spice cookies (with a recipe at the end of the book) says you are loved, that you belong.

An important message in this book, and in life.

As a side note, Iris’ messages in cookies reminds me of food blogger Suzie Durigon, who I recently met, and her Bake it Forward campaign.

A copy of this book was provided by Pajama Press for a honest review.

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