Trusting True North by Gina Linko

Trusting True North by Gina Linko

Coming April 2022


True Vincent loves to draw maps with carefully plotted scales, perfectly drawn legends, and beautifully calligraphed compass roses. She loves to add sea creatures in the bodies of water, just like the old explorers did, and phantom towns and trap streets, even Latin sayings, like, There Be Dragons, to warn of uncharted territories. Maps are handy and sophisticated, a tool for making sense of the world, or at least a little sliver of it. Maps are necessary. They show you where to go, how to get somewhere, point you in the right direction.

And that's important to True, especially now that the world's gone a little haywire: True's best friend Tamsin can't quit talking about boys. True's big sister suddenly wants nothing to do with her, and her mother -- her very favorite person in the world -- well, she's off in Canada, making boring topographical maps for zinc miners and drillers. And, of course, the whole world is on an actual lockdown because of the virus.

True wishes she had a map that would show her how to get out of all of this. But she doesn't. So instead, her days are full of babysitting her bother of a brother George, e-learning on the computer for school, and lots of not fun chores like cleaning the chicken coop. Gone are the days of exploring the little scrubby patch of woods that runs behind her house, of meeting up with Tamsin at the tilted blue barn to read in the hayloft. True misses normal.

But when True and George manage to slip away from under the not-so-watchful eye of their grandma, they reacquaint themselves with their woods, their forest pathways, and they find themselves at the tilted blue barn, ready for some regular old adventure. And they get it: a veritable ghost in the hayloft, a new possible-friend/maybe-traitor, a jumble of brand-new kittens, and the inspiration for a real pirate treasure hunt.

But True soon gets more than she bargained for, finding herself in a heap of trouble from their jaunts to the blue barn. True's navigating a knotted, labyrinth of a problem, trying desperately to map her way out, but how are you supposed to find your way back to normal when every longitude and latitude, every parallel and meridian, sends you somewhere scarier than before, somewhere more terrifying than the last, somewhere that might break your heart?

About the author:

Gina Linko likes to write books for kids and young people, because, in her opinion, they are the absolute best kinds of people.  Gina has two fluffy, fat cats, one of which is an evil genius.  She also has three kids, none of which are fluffy or evil geniuses, although they are quite interesting in their own human-like ways.  Gina lives in a suburb outside Chicago, where she works as a textbook editor and spends her free time reading and then reading some more.  She likes to stay up super late at night. She doesn't like alarm clocks.  She really likes Hershey nuggets, playing euchre, and watching the Cubbies.  Her children like to call her Lil Gina, even though she's six-feet tall.  

In my opinion:

Trusting True North was the first book I read by Gina Linko and I loved it. This book was a quick read. I quickly fell in love with the main character, True North. She is an adorable little girl who loved mapmaking and exploring. She reminded me of myself and my daughter, Olivia. We both are independent and will do what we feel is right for us no matter what others think. I have been told that I'm the glue that holds everything together so sometimes I do feel a lot of burdens are placed in my path. True also held a lot of weight on her shoulders. True's mother was stuck in Canada and her dad was a full time nurse. She felt responsible for taking care of her family members especially her younger brother, Georgie.

Will she learn that she doesn't need to take on adult responsibilities? What will she learn about her relationship with her sister, brother and grandma? Will she forgive her mother? Overall, this story gave me a different perspective for what it would have looked like as a kid during the pandemic. I loved the moral of the matter where you are in life, there is always someone who can help you when things get tough. "Because sometimes, no matter what decision is chosen, there can be serious, sad, awful re-percussions that can't just be on a kid's you always need a trusted grown-up on your side." Well done Gina!

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products or services for free in the hope that I would mention them on my blog and offer an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


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