Insta Review: Mimi, by Johnny Newman

Insta Review gives you a new book recommendation in under a minute. Go ahead, time it!

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When Mimi’s mom died suddenly, parts of everyone else died with her. Her father spends most of his time staring into space and attempting to make frozen pizza; her sister only wears black and will only speak to the family to tell them how much she hates them; her brother takes out his frustration on his drumset all night, every night. It’s as if their world has stopped turning, and their need to brush their teeth, do their homework, and go to school has stopped along with it. Until, about six months after the accident, things start to change. Mimi’s sympathetic teacher goes out on maternity leave and a substitute comes in who actually expects her to show up and work. Extended family members start to move on, meaning that there’s no one to clean up the house, cook the meals, and carry the weight. And so Mimi and her family are left to figure out how to move on, both alone and together. Mimi was cute and predictable, and seems like it would fit best with the younger reader set – maybe third grade? – if students of that age are interested in reading about the loss of a parent. I like that the story talks about everyday life without needing to get big, symbolic or dramatic. Sometimes, someone is just gone, and life gets hard; it’s not necessarily poetic, but it’s true. The fun and lilting Scottish accent of the audiobook narrator, along with the giggle-worthy UK slang, make Mimi a fun listen. If you know a young reader dealing with a loss or looking for a simple story of hope, Mimi might be a good fit. #bookreview #audiobook #empathy #reader

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