"Gingersnap" is the latest historical fiction for middle grade readers by the two-time Newbery Honor winning author Patricia Reilly Giff. In "Gingersnap," Giff explores World War II through the eyes of Jayna, a girl left alone after her brother ships out to the Pacific as a cook in the Navy.
What makes "Gingersnap" an especially good read is the mixture of historical fiction with a touch of magic. When Jayna leaves her landlady's house (where she is staying until her brother gets back) and visits their old house, she meets a ghost.
Of course, the reader doesn't really believe that Jayna sees a ghost who wears Jayna's nail polish and socks. But throughout the book, Jayne fiercely believes that her brother is coming home even though she is not sure she believes that the ghost is real. In a wonderful ending, the reader learns that the ghost was, indeed, quite real.
Not full of difficult vocabulary, the book is a gem of character development. Perfect to use when teaching third through fifth graders about character traits. All the characters in the book have unique characters traits that are created and solidified during the course of the book.
This would be a wonderful read aloud or a great book for small group discussion. Great choice for a classroom teacher or a young book group.
Please note: This review is based on an final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Wendy Lamb Books, a division of Random House Children's Books, for review purposes.
If you would like to continue receiving book reviews, including information about author appearances, author interviews and giveaways, please click the "Subscribe" icon. It's free and anonymous. Thank you for reading, and thank you for sharing this article with others.