Mia – Ripples in the Water

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She’s a sweet and adventurous mouse who lives in constant fear of the ridicule of Cade and Rupert, two of her eldest brothers. They once chased her with a swarming beehive and ended up tragically ripping her ear with the sharp stick from which it hung. They often take her food, leaving her famished, and to fend for herself. Worst of all, the two boys lie awake at night waiting for Papino to finish reading to his adored Mia. Then, they creep slowly to her bed to deliver their evil threats of sabotaging the very thing that means the most to her: the freedom to explore the meadows during the day where she can dream of new beginnings, play without fear, and be watched over closely by her loyal friend, Pern. He follows her wherever she goes, trying to protect her from all the sadness and dangers that exist in her small world. Mia’s greatest desire is to someday make it across the Mediterranean Sea, all the way to Africa. She desperately wants to meet the courageous lion Abdulla that Papino has read to her about from his sacred journal. After much trepidation, Mia convinces her parents that she must go. Papino tells Mamma that “within the dark embrace of fear, the heart slowly dies” and hands Mia a map of the route she must take. He cleverly tells her “to follow the ripples where they take her.” With the bravery of a soldier, she embarks on a journey of a lifetime, never losing sight of her ultimate goal. Her travels are filled with unforeseen challenges, marked with budding friendships, and ripe with the passion only a true adventurer possesses. Her dreams are finally realized when she comes face-to-face with the great Abdullah, and due to some twists and turns and new awakenings, some of her worries of the past are no more. Repentance and forgiveness pave the way for healing and acceptance.

This is a beautiful story that encapsulates the heart of the reader, offering to brighten even the darkest of days through its sweet innocence. It touches on every formidable emotion, from sadness and fear to jubilation and hope. D.A. Jennings’ style allows readers to feel a part of every moment of Mia’s journey from beginning to end, traveling with her through the tumultuous times in the old, dismantled barn in Southern Italy where her family lives and into the exotic land of amazing animals and flat terrain of Africa. Mia – Ripples in the Water is full of adventure and surprise. It’s certain to hold the attention of young readers who have fondness in their hearts for the creatures of the earth, as they are plentiful in this delightful story. The chapters are relatively short, and the reading level of the text is perfect for students who read at a 4th grade level. However, Jennings’ work will likely appeal to a much broader audience, namely, children between the ages of 8 and 12. The content is rich with topics relevant to young children: love, friendship, forgiveness, bullying, loss, justice, and success. Additionally, the words of wisdom shared by Papino, Pern, and Mia throughout the story make this book ideal to use for literature circles and whole class readings. They are likely to spawn fruitful discussions and even internal growth.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 197 pages
Publisher Inlet Shade Publishing
Publish Date 2019-10-18
ISBN 9780996655064
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue January 2020
Category Tweens


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