I really am going to try to post here more often. With that in mind, here are a couple of book reviews:

After finishing Homecoming, I dove right into the next Tillerman book, Dicey's Song. It picks up pretty much exactly where the first book left off and tells the story of the four Tillerman children settling into their new life, getting to know their grandmother and their new town, and making friends, whether they want to or not. I've never been able to decide which of the two books is my favorite, mostly because I can't separate them, the way Dicey later tells a friend that you can't separate getting to know her from getting to know her family. Dicey's Song is just as amazing as Homecoming and just as integral to the overall story of the Tillerman family. There are moments of joy and of sorrow, but most of the story is just about everyday life, and I think that's what I love so much about it. And the part where it's beautifully written, of course.

A Solitary Blue, the next book in the series, is from the point of view of Jeff Greene, a friend whom Dicey meets halfway through the second book and who becomes close to the whole Tillerman family. He's a few years older than Dicey, but the story starts when he's seven, on the day that his mother walks out on him and his father. Jeff is terrified that his distant, academic father, the Professor, will leave him, too, and spends years trying to be exactly what he thinks the Professor wants. Five years later, he's invited to spend the summer with his mother, the first time he's seen her since she left, and this visit and its aftermath changes everything, in both good and bad ways. The book, which follows Jeff from ages 7 to 17, is sometimes heartcrushing but always absolutely beautiful. It's not just about growing up, but also the ways that can lead to understanding that one's parents can be entirely different people than they seem to a small child. Though I've read this at least five times before, I couldn't put it down. It's that awesome.

I loved reading these books back-to-back and seeing the moment Dicey and Jeff met, among others, from both of their very different points of view. I loved watching their friendship develop, but the books are about so much more, and I love that, too. This series is truly one of the best stories about families - and many different kinds - that I've ever read. And when I make more progress on the rest of my reading list, I look forward to continuing with the next books in the series.
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