"Grace Mockingbird is an independent 13-year old girl growing up in the tumultuous southern town of Jubilee, Kentucky. This is the time of integration, and most folks around her seem dead set against change. Not her mixed-heritage father, though. And not her brave new teacher, Miss Adams, who speaks about equality in a way that Grace has never heard before. This is a coming-of-age story as well as a heart wrenching and harrowing example of how God can grow beauty from sorrow, and how often we misjudge those around us. Forgiveness also plays a big part in this story; Grace struggles with the lack of forgiveness and love she receives from her mother, and even has a hard time forgiving God when her beloved younger brother suddenly falls ill. Her family attempts to maintain normality as their relationships wear thin amidst both the racism and violence outside the house, and the emotional struggles going on within. This book gripped me right from the prologue, and although at first I wasn't sure what kind of voice the author was going for, in the end I was hooked and grew very attached to the characters and world that Cindy Morgan built. It's important to note that with the story being set in 1960's America, it contains some dark themes, crude words, and heavy conversations. This era of change is an important part of America's history and is portrayed realistically. Overall, 'The Year of Jubilee' is a fast-paced and charming book that leaves the reader with the lingering warmth of a Kentucky summer on their skin and the heartening feeling that change is possible, no matter how heavy the storm."
Reviewed by Erin