"What Momma Left Me" by Renee Watson is about a girl named Serenity and her brother Danny, who witnessed the death of their mother. In their father's sure absence after the incident, the kids go to live with their grandparents that orbit around the church and cooking. Serenity's grandma loves to cook, just like her momma. She avoids the kitchen in hopes of avoiding not only the memories, but the could have beens. Despite all the new found love in her life, Serenity finds herself still emotionally disturbed because she still feels she must keep her mother's secrets. Although this is a continuous thought in the back of her head, Serenity manages to make a good friend named Maria. Both girls are brilliant, but when they start opening up to each other they realize that they both carry secrets from their home life. Throughout the book there are poems included at the beginning of every chapter, coming from Serenity's English class. Each poem gives a deeper insight to her heart. The very heart that is going to have to make a potentially life-threatening decision, what secrets are really meant to be kept?
Loving to bake myself, this books was a full cup of enjoyment. There was always something that kept me wanting to read more. The excitement of Serenity's life, Danny making hard choices, or looking to see if their father would come back and whether or not he was guilty. When I remember this book, hands down, I will always remember the poetry first. Crafted through Serenity came the sweetest most honest poems, where when you read them it felt like looking straight into her heart. The poems were unbelievably well written and truly a joy to read. In all, the book was amazing. The one thing I would change is that it came across a little play-by-play sometimes. A quality that a lot of authors take on when writing children's books. Other than that, there is nothing I would change. The book's cover is one of my favorite book covers. It's inviting and really takes on the theme of the story as a whole. From "What Momma Left Me" I've learned an important lesson: just because you share your family's flesh and blood doesn't mean you become them.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Libertyville, Illinois US