Monday, June 10, 2013

All About Middle Grade Review: This Journal Belongs to Ratchet


This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavenaugh, April, 2013. 320 pages. Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Source: author for honest review.
Eleven-year-old Ratchet determines to make a friend, save a park, and find her own definition of normal. She tells her story through the assignments in her homeschool language arts journal.
Living in a world of spark plugs, pistons, and crankshafts, Ratchet spends her days fixing cars with her dad in the garage – not exactly normal for a girl. Even with the odds stacked against her, Ratchet endeavors to change her life and realizes her skill as a mechanic might just be the path to her first friend. But in the process, she alienates her father and discovers a secret she wishes she never knew. She finds a way to, not only accept the truth she discovers, but also accept herself and her dad in a whole new way.
First Sentence:
If only getting a new life
Were as easy as getting
A new notebook.

This Journal Belongs to Ratchet was an amazing read and one I won't be forgetting anytime soon. Ratchet's journey to finding herself and learning to be comfortable in her own skin was just brilliantly portrayed by Ms. Cavanaugh in her debut book.

I have literally been trying to find the words to write this review for much of the year because it was just that good. There is no way that I’ll do this book justice in my review, but by golly, I’m going to try. 

What I really liked about Ratchet is that she is definitely one character that just about anybody can relate to. Why, because at some point everyone has felt like they don’t belong, which is why This Journal Belongs to Ratchet is so good because the author takes that story line and uses it to help her character come to terms with her situation and to value what she has.

While this was generally an upbeat read, it nearly tore my heartstrings out when Rachel found out the secret that her father had tried to keep from her. Goodness, I just wanted to reach into the pages and give both her and her father a hug after that revelation.

One of the reasons I enjoyed This Journal Belongs to Ratchet so much is that Ms. Cavanaugh’s writing does an absolutely amazing job of capturing Ratchet’s story and every little emotion that she is feeling as she learns to be happy with who she is what she has. While I am usually the last person to pick up a book told in verse, I loved the way Ms. Cavanaugh used poetry to deliver the story of Ratchet and how it kept the story moving along.

Since I have spent my entire review raving about the awesomeness that is This Journal Belongs to Ratchet, I've decided that I'm going to talk about the pretty layout of the book in my "favorite" section. I really enjoyed all the detail that the publisher did with the layout of this book because it the inside of the book literally looks like a journal, and even the text is done in a fashion that looks like actual handwriting. I really enjoyed all the attention to detail that went into the binding of this book because you can see how much the publishers and designers believed in the story that the author had created.

Final Verdict: Nancy Cavanaugh excellently captures the voice of Ratchet in her brilliant book about learning where you fit in.

This Journal Belongs to Ratchet earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

1 comment:

I read, and am working on replying, to all the comments y'all leave. All comments are moderated by me, so, if you don't see it automatically that's why.
Psst, there is no "Word Verification" on the comments. =)

Keep on being awesome!

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