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Ginny Off the Map by Caroline Hickey

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2 minutes, 59 seconds Read

In Ginny off the Map, a geography-obsessed sixth-grader learns to meet people where they are and find “true north” in her own family.

The post Ginny Off the Map by Caroline Hickey appeared first on Redeemed Reader.

In Ginny off the Map, a geography-obsessed sixth-grader learns to meet people where they are and find “true north” in her own family.

Ginny Off the Map by Caroline Hickey. Little, Brown, 2023, 304 pages.

ginny off the map

Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10

Recommended for: ages 8-14

Ginny Pierce is the youngest member of a military family that moves every 2-3 years. She loves geography—absolutely loves it—so changing locations at least allows her to experience different places. The most recent move from Fort Bragg to Silver Springs, Maryland, will be tough, though: not only is she giving up two best friends, who love geography facts almost as much as she does, but she’s also giving up her dad. It’s only for six months while he’s employed at a field hospital in Afghanistan, but it couldn’t come at a worse time.

One immediate compensation is the geography camp her parents signed her up for. Another, more long-range one, is the STEM magnet school where they’ve applied. But the geography camp falls through; not enough interest. And before long the school is looking dicey, too. And Ginny finds it very hard to make friends in this new neighborhood, since no one is interested in her endless fund of geography facts, least of all her sister Allie. Worst, her dad—her dependable sounding board, guide, and confidante—is not answering her text and face time messages. Tensions grow between Ginny and her sister, between Ginny and their distracted mom, between Ginny and the world that doesn’t seem to have a place for her.

Ginny can be frustrating—her obsession with geography facts borders on pathological: “My brain never stops analyzing the world and everything I know about it. Sometime s it’s just plain exhausting.” Asperger’s? I’m thinking, but probably not; she just has a lot to learn about getting along with people. These are hard lessons, and she makes many mistakes and sometimes gives in to destructive passions. The key to a brighter path is becoming aware of other people as people, with their own challenges and uncertainties. This begins with her own family, a healthy unit that must nonetheless navigate change and growth in a new situation. Her dad is a model dad, yet still slips up. Her mom is strong and resilient, but not perfect. Family makes demands, but those demands are well worth the effort, and the effort will pay off. Ginny’s “true north,” which her dad always encouraged her to find, is the people she loves.

Consideration:

  • One misuse of God’s name.

Overall Rating: 4.25 (out of 5)

  • Worldview/moral value: 4
  • Artistic/literary value: 4.5

Read more about our ratings here.

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The post Ginny Off the Map by Caroline Hickey appeared first on Redeemed Reader.

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