Some Kind of Happiness
- Her parents, who are having problems. (But they pretend like they’re not.)
- Being sent to her grandparents’ house for the summer.
- Never having met said grandparents.
- Her blue days—when life feels overwhelming, and it’s hard to keep her head up. (This happens a lot.)
Finley’s only retreat is the Everwood, a forest kingdom that exists in the pages of her notebook. Until she discovers the endless woods behind her grandparents’ house and realizes the Everwood is real–and holds more mysteries than she’d ever imagined, including a family of pirates that she isn’t allowed to talk to, trees covered in ash, and a strange old wizard living in a house made of bones.
With the help of her cousins, Finley sets out on a mission to save the dying Everwood and uncover its secrets. But as the mysteries pile up and the frightening sadness inside her grows, Finley realizes that if she wants to save the Everwood, she’ll first have to save herself.
Reality and fantasy collide in this powerful, heartfelt novel about family, depression, and the power of imagination, for fans of Counting By 7s and Bridge to Terabithia.
★ A quiet magic is at work in Legrand’s novel, in which she adeptly interweaves Fin’s imaginative writing with the real-life narrative, underpinning all with an appeal to honesty and self-acceptance. This beautiful and reflective tale carries echoes of Katherine Patterson’s The Bridge to Terabithia (1977) and will resonate with thoughtful readers who enjoy pondering life’s bigger questions.
A multilayered plot, engaging characters, and more than one mystery highlight this ambitious novel. . . . Legrand successfully weaves it all into a rich, nuanced tale that culminates in a convincing and satisfying conclusion.
There’s old-fashioned appeal in the kids roaming free and exploring the outdoors, and . . . the story’s exceedingly satisfying and well told.
★ Legrand handles the tough subject of childhood mental health gently and honestly, and. . . . paints a realistic picture of a girl trying to figure out what’s wrong with her. Finley’s quest to uncover family secrets reveals not just what kept her father away from his relatives but how a family sticks together through good times and bad.
Legrand has pulled off a difficult trick in this novel. She’s constructed a story-within-a-story fairy tale that’s utterly compelling but sounds as though it was written by an 11-year-old girl. . . . A layered, thoughtful exploration.
Imagine if Wednesday Addams had written The Princess Bride and you’ve got some kind of idea of Some Kind of Happiness — a dark and meditative fantasy written with Claire Legrand’s signature light touch.
Depression and anxiety are usually reserved for YA fare, so it’s refreshing to see those matters brought to younger readers and especially to those kids struggling to voice emotions they don’t yet understand. Legrand handles the topic with sensitivity and compassion.
Finley’s marvelous adventure will resonate with anyone who has battled a broken heart through the power of story. The courage she finds along the way will leave you cheering – and believing in magic – even in the darkest part of the woods.
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of Summer, 2016
A quiet magic is at work in Legrand’s novel, in which she adeptly interweaves Fin’s imaginative writing with the real-life narrative, underpinning all with an appeal to honesty and self-acceptance. This beautiful and reflective tale carries echoes of Katherine Patterson’s The Bridge to Terabithia (1977) and will resonate with thoughtful readers who enjoy pondering life’s bigger questions.