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My Book Review of CHEERS FROM HEAVEN

 A Middle Grade Tale of Redemption

Thornton Cline and Mary Elizabeth Jackson offer a thoughtful story of growth.  A tale that teaches how innocent acts can be harmful, but our ignorance doesn’t have to defeat us.  It can empower us to be better.

In this touching story, a group of friends find remorse for the poor behavior they exhibited toward a fellow classmate.  Their guilt is compounded when he passes away, revealing aspect about the boy they never knew nor understood.  It sets them on a path of discovery that not only matures them, but reminds us all that things aren’t always what they seem and ‘different’ doesn’t mean ‘bad’.

The friends in the story are not perfect, but none of us are.  Though they continue to make a few questionable choices, they show how we are all able to move beyond the past for a better future.  It, also, highlights how others can see the good in us even when we lack the confidence to acknowledge it within ourselves.

I really like that the authors have a set of questions at the end of the book to help young readers explore the concepts discussed in the book.  I like that it helps illustrate that we all make mistakes, but that is how we learn, and that it is more important what we do with the lesson gained from the experience.

Overall, this is a positive story.  It encourages kids to appreciate individualism, to take responsibility for their actions, and to exercise forgiveness, not only for others, but for themselves.

“A touching tale of young friends who find forgiveness for bullying a classmate.  This story reminds us that we all make mistakes, but it’s what we do next that matters.  Be kind…to others and yourself.”

J.M. Northup, author and partner of Norns Triad Publications

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