Judith. Jude. No-Talk-Girl. Freak. Jubilee. These are just some of the names are heroine is called. It is her beloved Aunt Cora that calls her Jubilee. A joyful celebration. Left with her aunt when she is very young, Jubilee soon stops talking. Yet, her true friends understand her. When it is time for her to go into a regular fifth-grade classroom, instead of her special class, Jubilee has more than new teacher bumps to overcome. One of the biggest, she learns her mother is back in the area. There are two wishes Jubilee has: one, to take the question mark off the face of her mother in the pictures she draws and two, know why her mother left her long ago.
This seems like a heavy read for the target audience of eight to 10 years old. However, while it is, it is tackled in a very accessible way for this younger crowd. Patricia Reilly Giff is what I call a “Grandparent Author”: A grandparent will not feel like they are giving the child “junk” and at the same time the child will want to read this book (sorry grandparents, but if you are like mine were, you are way out of touch).
Spoiler: everything wraps up in a neat bow. Jubilee learns about her mother, understands about friendships, her own strength, where she belongs and even speaks. This is a nice cozy book. One I would have loved at eight/nine (even up to 12 or so). I put it on a favorite I have not read in a while as it is one I accidentally found again. I think you find those when you need them.