Norah’s Ark is a tenderhearted, middle-grade story of friendship, complicated family, and empathy.
Norah’s Ark by Victoria Williamson
Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Middle Grade, Friendship, Family Life, Cancer, Homelessness, Bullying
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My Summary of Norah’s Ark:
Welcome to my stop on the Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tour for Norah’s Ark. Thanks @NeemTreePress @The_WriteReads @WriteReadsTours for a complimentary e ARC of #NorahsArk upon my request. All opinions are my own.
Eleven-year-old Norah is lonely and living in shelters with her mostly-out-of-work father and is severely bullied at school. She loves animals and insects…..really, any living creature. One day she spies a bird nest that is filled with hungry baby birds and no mother bird in sight. She decides to rescue these birds, but in the process she meets twelve-year-old Adam who lives with his parents in a large house. He’s also lonely because his parents are overprotective and fearful as a result of his history of leukemia and medical treatment. They keep their friendship a secret for many complicated reasons as they bond over the rescue of baby birds, take care of an abandoned cat and a stray dog, and survive a dangerous flood.
Animal lovers will find a lot to love in this story! As Norah rescues and cares for animals, it’s especially poignant that Norah also needs rescuing and care.
Two Points of View
I loved hearing from each character in alternating chapters to fully understand each one’s fears, hopes, dreams, and perspectives. The bullying that Norah faces in school is extreme and I can’t imagine how this was ignored or unnoticed by teachers.
The friendship between these two very different children is heartwarming and brave. Their friendship is tentative at first, but grows into something beautiful as they learn to trust and understand each other and to see life from new perspectives.
Thoughtful themes include empathy, friendship, compassion, homelessness, bullying, loneliness, poverty, trust, complicated family drama, parental fears and protectiveness, forgiveness, childhood worries, and hope for a better future.
Content Consideration: bullying, cancer (in remission), homelessness
Recommending Norah’s Ark
I couldn’t find this book on Amazon U.S. but you can find it on Goodreads and the Amazon UK link is below. I warmly recommend this emotional story for readers who can appreciate the themes and might enjoy a heartwarming middle-grade read. This story contains lots to think about and discuss for mature middle-grade readers.
Related: I thought about Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate when I read this story. Find other middle-grade stories I love in this post.
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Information Here (as far as I know this title is not yet available in the U.S. )
Meet the Author of Norah’s Ark, Victoria Williamson
Victoria Williamson is an award-winning author who grew up in Scotland surrounded by hills, books, and an historical farm estate which inspired many of her early adventure stories and spooky tales. After studying Physics at the University of Glasgow, she set out on her own real-life adventures, which included teaching maths and science in Cameroon, training teachers in Malawi, teaching English in China and working with children with additional support needs in the UK. Victoria currently works part time writing KS2 books for the education company Twinkl and spends the rest of her time writing novels, and visiting schools, libraries and literary festivals to give author talks and run creative writing workshops.
Do you enjoy an occasional middle-grade read or do you have middle-grade readers in your family?
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