cover image The Secret Hum of a Daisy

The Secret Hum of a Daisy

Tracy Holczer. Putnam, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-16393-7

In a lovely and captivating debut, Holczer crafts a tender story of an orphaned girl left with a grandmother she resents in a town that holds the secrets of her family’s past. Twelve-year-old Grace is no stranger to new places: her wayward, artistic mother seemed to uproot them every few months without explanation. After Grace’s mother dies in a drowning accident, Grace is expected to move in with a grandmother she doesn’t know or trust, as she struggles to understand the loss of her mother, discover her family’s history, and follow a trail of clues she’s certain her mother left for her. Holczer writes with depth, heart, and a poetic lilt (“I shivered in my sleeping bag, feeling the chill of the river, and wondered if my dreams were bringing me one piece of Mama’s death at a time”), making readers feel the same longing ache as Grace. Despite a lack of suspenseful or action-packed scenes, Grace’s story and Holczer’s nuanced characters engage from beginning to end. Ages 10–up. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (May)