This Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book and Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies tells the story of one fatherless young girl who tries her best to improve her family's situation.
After the death of her father, Mattie notices that her mother takes out her frustrations and fears on both her and her twin brother. It seems that everything Mattie tries to do just doesn't bring back the joy that her mother used to have. In hopes of helping her mother renew her spirit, Mattie decides to save up some money and buy her mother an expensive gold pin for Mother's Day. She soon realizes that she won't be able to earn enough money in time to pay for the pin, and besides that, her mother doesn't feel like there is much to celebrate anymore. Mattie knows that although she's just a kid, she has the power to bring change in her family. She decides to take matters into her own hands and make sure they're happy once again, so she enters a writing contest which not only wins her first prize, but makes her and the rest of the family realize just how much they mean to one another.
Mattie's courageous attempt to bring her family closer together rings true, and the author makes sure that readers understand that not all families are happy all of the time. This is a good way to get children talking about different kinds of families, and also may let readers find comfort in knowing that all families are not perfect. An excellent book and quick read.