Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Maisie is an artist. When she’s in front of her sketchbook or apprenticing at Glenna’s Portraits, the family-run art shop her grandmother started, the world makes sense. She doesn’t think about Calum, her brother who mysteriously left home and cut ties with her family six years ago, or her parents’ insistence that she “broaden her horizons” and try something new—something that isn’t art.

But when Glenna’s Portraits falls on hard times, Maisie’s plan to take over the shop when she’s older and become a lifelong artist starts to crumble. In desperation to make things right, Maisie runs away to London to reconnect with her adult brother, hoping he might be the key to saving the shop. But as Maisie learns about her family’s past from Calum, she starts to rethink everything she’s ever known. Maisie must decide not only if saving her family’s art shop is worth it, but if she can forgive her parents for the mistakes they’ve made.

Release Date: 16th November 2021

Genres: Middle Grade, LGBT+, Family, Contemporary, Coming of age, Adventure, Art, Friendship

Pages: 256

Thank you so much to Jolly Fish Press and Netgalley for the earc to read and review.

Review: Maisie is sent away to Edinburgh for the summer out of her will as her parent portrait shop loses funding. Her brother who ran away six years ago shows up wanting to get to know her, convincing her to go with him to London. Soon she finds herself in a wash of emotions, a plan to solve what really happened with her brother and desperation to save her parents portrait store.

This story is written with so much care and dedication it seeps through each page. It’s such an inclusive book, it is precious and pure. It has an amazing focus in LGBT+ teens. I love that it has good messages about dealing with who you are, with how people treat you and how to overcome that, with how to be an ally and be there for someone that needs you. It’s something so rare to find in a Middle Grade book, but so vital and important. I’m glad this book exists.

It was such an interesting story and I loved that as the story went on it grew as Maisie grew, she was a stubborn little girl that didn’t want to try anything new, who grew up on her U.K. adventure. She took strides in learning who she was, in leaning the truth about her family and her brothers situation. She grew in maturity and in self belief and grew in her own personal talent and determination. She was an incredible protagonist and I glad we went on the life adventure with her.

This story is a really great read, it sinks you in giving you lots of room for ideas of what may have really happened, what is going to happen and then it not always being as you’d suspect it to have been. It was written really well, it’s engrossing and it’s heartfelt. The relationships all feel so strong and so real that you kind of just want to help them out, the characters are real, flawed and imperfectly perfect. I really loved this book and I’m sure you will too.

About Author: Sabrina Kleckner is the author of THE ART OF RUNNING AWAY, a middle grade contemporary novel about family and identity. She began writing at the age of twelve, and is grateful to not be debuting with the angsty assassin book she toiled over in her teens. When she is not writing, she can be found teaching ESL or gushing about her three cats to anyone who will listen. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @sabkleckner.


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