Y’ALL. I’M DOING IT. AFTER I POST THIS I AM ALL CAUGHT UP IN MY REVIEWS!!! If anyone out there is behind in reviews, let me be your motivation. YOU CAN DO IT. Let’s get me to the finish line!
Voight’s Tillerman Cycle follows the Tillerman siblings (Dicey, James, Maybeth, and Sammy) as they learn to live with their grandmother, after being abandoned by their mother. Their grandmother is the quintessential recluse but has opened her home and heart to her estranged grandchildren. They are all learning to live with each other and navigate a new life, where Dicey at thirteen no longer has to solely be responsible for their survival but gets to start to focus on who she is, and who she wants to be.
This was some pretty heavy subject material to read so young, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it then. My childhood was pretty unremarkable, so the fact that I got to put myself into the shoes of someone with a harder hill to climb hopefully contributed to my development. I mean, I was also into the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, but I think there are more analogues to my own life to Dicey’s than to growing up on the prairie (other than being like yay, I have electricity and toilets). Back to Voight: her writing is great for YA, plain and straightforward, but she doesn’t shy away from hard topics and really explores the emotions and motivations of each character, so you can clearly understand what they are going through. And Gram, she is the toughest ol’ bird of them all, but she manages to both give Dicey room to be a kiddo, but also prepare her for adulthood as she must navigate both caring for her siblings, and letting them grow up. It’s a sweet series and a real study in coming-of-age, so I’m glad that I’m revisiting it and might try to nudge my 12 year old to give them a try.