Where The Watermelons Grow Book Review

Photo Credit: Emily Montjoy – Instagram @mrsmontjoy

By Cindy Baldwin
On Sale July 3, 2018
An Indies Introduce Summer/Fall 2018 Pick!
A Summer 2018 Kids' Indie Next List Pick!
Literary Arts' 2018 Literary Fellowship Recipient!
ISBN-13: 978-0-06-266586-7
Age Range: 8-12 years | Grade Level: 3-7
HARPER Hardcover

About the Book: When twelve-year-old Della Kelly finds her mother furiously digging black seeds from a watermelon in the middle of the night and talking to people who aren't there, Della worries that it’s happening again—that the sickness that put her mama in the hospital four years ago is back. That her mama is going to be hospitalized for months like she was last time.

With her daddy struggling to save the farm and her mama in denial about what’s happening, it’s up to Della to heal her mama for good. And she knows just how she’ll do it: with a jar of the Bee Lady’s magic honey, which has mended the wounds and woes of Maryville, North Carolina, for generations. But when the Bee Lady says that the solution might have less to do with fixing Mama’s brain and more to do with healing her own heart, Della must learn that love means accepting her mama just as she is.

About the AuthorCindy Baldwin is a fiction writer, essayist, and poet. She grew up in North Carolina and still misses the sweet watermelons and warm accents on a daily basis. As a middle schooler, she kept a book under her bathroom sink to read over and over while fixing her hair or brushing her teeth, and she dreams of writing the kind of books readers can’t bear to be without. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and daughter, surrounded by tall trees and wild blackberries. Where the Watermelons Grow is her debut novel. Learn more about Cindy at www.cindybaldwinbooks.com.

Five star Reviews from nerdy book friends:

Cassie @mrs_cmt1489: Della’s family is far from “normal” but what family isn’t? Della’s mother struggles with a mental illness and Della can’t help but carry guilt for thinking her illness is her fault. This is an amazing story of community, love, family, friendship, and understanding. Della is empowering as a young girl. I can’t wait to share with students next year.

Emily @mrsmontjoyreads: This is a beautifully written book about such a tough topic. The author writes this book from the heart and handles the topic of mental illness, schizophrenia with care and sensitivity so that it’s appropriate for a middle grade reader. The main character, Della, struggles throughout the book with trying to fix her mother and is juggling the guilt that it’s her fault her mother is this way. The writing is so authentic that you feel the very real and raw emotions that Della is experiencing. Tears filled my eyes through the last 30 pages. My heart was broken but healing, like sweet honey, blossomed like the first watermelon of summer in those last pages. Highly recommend!

Sandy @ela_everyday: “... looked out the window over the sink and wished, more than ever, that the sky would just open up and cry all the tears I couldn’t.”

12 year old Della watches her mom struggle with sickness while also worrying about if they will lose the farm. How will she handle everything? #BookVoyage 

Check out what fellow authors have to say!

This story will be included in my Mock Newbery for the next school year. I feel that it's presence in a middle grade classroom is imperative. This is a book for the year 2018 you won't want to miss and you won't want your students to miss! Out today! Order - share- read - share again, i promise you won't be disappointed! 
Click the picture below to order! 

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