Genres: Coming of Age, Inspirational
Format: Kindle, Paperback
In 1963, a young teenage girl moves with her mother and sisters from the suburbs to the downtown of a Midwestern city after her parents get a divorce. Emmie, a naïve, curious and intelligent girl, wants the security of her suburban life but has always dreamed of adventure in faraway places. She must take risks, meet new people and become independent. The change is difficult for all because of her mother’s alcoholism and lack of a steady income. When Emmie’s mother takes a job, she cares for her sisters at night. In her new neighborhood, Emmie meets people from different cultures who are both good and evil. She defends her sisters and herself each day by confronting the evil, thus awakening her courage and inner strength. But she never gives up.
Emmie of Indianapolis by Kay Castaneda Is a charming coming of age story that follows the life of a young 13 year old girl that moves from a house in the suburbs to an apartment in the Mid-western town of Indianapolis. Although her parents just divorced, Emmie has a great attitude about the move and tries to make the best of her new life. Set in the 1960’s, readers are taken back to a time and place when things were simpler. Although, Emmie’s life is not so easy and she goes through her ups and downs, as she cares for her two younger sisters while her mother takes a night job. Her mother becomes an alcoholic and Emmie’s responsibilities increase. She protects her younger sisters to the best of her ability. She is strong, independent and clever. This is a story that is told by Emmie, herself. It’s about her experiences and the trials she encounters. There are good and bad people to deal with, and Emmie is determined to handle it all while making a life for herself and her sisters.
Spirituality plays a big part in this unique young adult story. The importance of friendships, family and community are strongly emphasized. Emmie makes many friends from different cultural backgrounds and she comes to realize the importance of keeping positive people around her, no matter what their ethnicity or walk in life is. But still, life gets messy for Emmie, and author Kay Castaneda does an outstanding job of showing life’s struggles as seen through a child’s eyes and told from a child’s point of view.
The characters in Emmie from Indianapolis are relatable and extremely real. They are fully developed with flaws and strengths that make this story very familiar and endearing. I connected well with all of them. Readers will be rooting and cheering for Emmie as she makes her way through a tough situation. Not having the ideal childhood, made her stronger and that was a very inspiring and important aspect of the storyline and plot.
The descriptive writing is remarkable and I felt like I was there watching on as the story unfolded. The descriptions of the food, furniture, houses, church scenes and even the smells, had me fully engaged, peaked my interest and took me back in time. This is a book that will certainly appeal to readers of all ages. Artisan Book Reviews highly recommends Emmie of Indianapolis by Kay Castaneda.
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