Happily - and luckily - the reviews were good.
But while knowledge is power, it is also sometimes a source of stress. Knowing the process has been more difficult this time around because I realize that reviews do matter. That a librarian in Maine or Florida or Arizona has to use something objective to inform his/her buying decisions -- and reviews are most often that informational source. Do negative reviews kill a book? I don't think it's that simple. But a good review certainly helps it along its little journey.
So, naturally, I've been nervous.
But the reviews are coming in and I am so happy to know they are great. :D I can take a deep breath and celebrate - It's good news!!
Here's what they're saying so far...
When Jade arrives in Wyoming for her summer vacation, she is in for a life-changing experience.
Jade is used to quiet summer vacations in Philadelphia. But this year, her parents pack her off to Wyoming to have an adventure with eccentric Aunt Elise. That’s where Jade meets Joshua Parker, a boy who thinks he’s descended from Butch Cassidy (whose real name was Roy Parker, so the boy insists on being called Roy). Roy wants to replicate Butch Cassidy’s Robin Hood ways by robbing a bank to help his parents regain their business. Jade is willing to help but prefers more law-abiding methods, such as hosting stargazing parties on Aunt Elise’s roof. Drawing on rich Western lore and creating characters as gritty as the earth itself, Hilmo paints a picture of a town where everyone is connected. Folks old and young prove themselves able to weather the storms—both literal thunderheads and the hardships of life—while maintaining hopeful hearts as expansive as the sky. Most refreshing: Parents, caregivers and other adults in the neighborhood only appear to be leaving the children to their own devices. In reality, they keep a loose rein, respectfully giving Jade and Roy some independence in recognition that the real adventure in life is the process of becoming.A heartening, comforting story with enough tension to keep readers hooked and a subtle message that will sneak up on them. (Fiction. 8-12)
School Library Journal:
HILMO, Tess. Skies Like These. 240p. ebook available. Farrar. Jul. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780374369989. LC 2013033675.
Gr 4-7–Twelve-year-old Jade is less than thrilled to be spending the summer in Wyoming with her quirky aunt Elise, away from all of the comforts of her Philadelphia home. As soon as she arrives, though, she meets Joshua Park, who insists on being called Roy and is convinced he’s related to Butch Cassidy. Roy considers himself the Robin Hood of Wellington, Wyoming, and he hatches plan after plan to steal from the rich—the owner of the new big box store—and give to the poor by rounding up enough cash for his parents to reopen their out-of-business mom-and-pop hardware store. Jade becomes his reluctant sidekick, often providing a voice of reason as Roy shares his plans, including bank robbery. She comes up with some (legal) moneymaking schemes of her own to help the cause. A robust cast of well-developed characters and a delightful, swiftly moving plot will leave readers wishing for Jade to extend her stay in Wyoming.–Amanda Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, Madison, WI
I always want to thank the reviewers, too - it takes time to read and write something so thoughtful and thorough.
This book was a labor of love -- and three years in the making. I wanted to write something that would make young readers laugh and feel as if they went on a fun adventure. I think it accomplishes that goal and I'm so excited to have it hit the shelves this July!
Now to start planning the launch party :D ...