Love Like Sky is a tender middle grade novel about new families, siblings, and adapting. It’s a book that deals with mistakes, good intentions, and giving people a second chance.
G-baby and her younger sister, Peaches, are still getting used to their “blended-up” family. They live with Mama and Frank out in the suburbs, and they haven’t seen their real daddy much since he married Millicent. G-baby misses her best friend back in Atlanta, and is crushed that her glamorous new stepsister, Tangie, wants nothing to do with her.
G-baby is so preoccupied with earning Tangie’s approval that she isn’t there for her own little sister when she needs her most. Peaches gets sick-really sick. Suddenly, Mama and Daddy are arguing like they did before the divorce, and even the doctors at the hospital don’t know how to help Peaches get better.
It’s up to G-baby to put things right. She knows Peaches can be strong again if she can only see that their family’s love for her really is like sky.
Love Like Sky is a story about sisters. About the responsibility of having to be ‘the big sister’ and what that can do for you when your world has changed irreparably and you have to be the strong one. When you just want to be a kid for a change. To not have to be a role model. To not have to be good at adapting and explaining to your younger sister. But at the same time, G-Baby yearns for a big sister of her own, a companion, a source of security in this vast un-tethered world of a new family.
This is a story about growing up, about mistakes that pile up no matter how much you try to stop them. When you follow your heart, even if leads you on a detour. Sometimes even the best of intentions can have the wrong execution. But what I ended up loving the most was the family in Love Like Sky and the intricate, messy, complicated relationships of step-mothers, step-fathers, divorce, and step-sisters.
This also has beautiful moments of bonding and where this young POC girl has to learn about the way the world sees her family different. How her dad responds to being pulled over, how her step-sister tries to protest.
Everyone has those moments where they are in their own head, in their own world, and trying to do their best. They make mistakes, say things they regret, and take their family for granted. But then there are those moments when they say just the right thing, support you when no one else will, and hold your hand. In these new, ‘blended’ families, it can be hard to navigate the relationships with sisters, mothers, and fathers. You have to deal with those challenges that come from adaptation, like a chameleon without losing its own spots.
And so G-Baby is such a tender and empathetic character as she struggles to do the right thing, to find her own relationships, to be her own person, while also being a sister. She has to make hard choices and navigate unknown territory. And she makes it out with a scratch or two. But she comes out on the other side with a stronger family, with more understanding, and a love like sky.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of LOVE LIKE SKY, US Only.
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About the Author
Leslie C. Youngblood received an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A former assistant professor of creative writing at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, she has lectured at Mississippi State University, UNC-Greensboro, and the University of Ghana at Legon. She began her undergraduate degree at Morris Brown College and completed her bachelor’s at Georgia State University. After graduation, she served as a columnist and assistant editor for Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine.
She’s been awarded a host of writing honors including a 2014 Yaddo’s Elizabeth Ames Residency, the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Prize, a Hurston Wright Fellowship, and the Room of Her Own Foundation’s 2009 Orlando Short Story Prize. She received funding to attend the Norman Mailer Writers’ Colony in 2011. Her short story, “Poor Girls’ Palace,” was published in the winter 2009 edition of the Indiana Review, as well as Kwelijournal, 2014.
In 2010 she won the Go On Girl! Book Club Aspiring Writer Award. In 2016 she landed a two-book publishing deal with Disney-Hyperion for her Middle-Grade novel, LOVE LIKE SKY (Nov.6). She often teaches creative writing classes at Rochester, New York’s literary center, Writers & Books.
Born in Bogalusa, Louisiana, and raised in Rochester, New York, she’s fortunate to have a family of natural storytellers and a circle of supportive and family and friends.
Blog Tour Schedule
11/5/2018- BookHounds YA– Excerpt
11/6/2018- Beagles & Books– Review
11/7/2018- YA Books Central– Excerpt
11/8/2018- Do You Dog-ear?– Review
11/9/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
11/12/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review
11/13/2018- Texan Holly Reads– Review
11/14/2018- Utopia State of Mind– Review
11/15/2018- Novel Novice– Excerpt
11/16/2018- Such a Novel Idea– Review
If you had to go back in time and give your younger self a middle grade book, what would it be? I might pick The Night Diary.
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