August or Forever | Critical Book Review

A Heartfelt Dive into Family Dynamics

August or Forever by Ona Gritz is a middle-grade novel that delves into the intricacies of family dynamics and truth. Audrey Davis shares her take on this heartfelt story that explores the complexities of relationships and self-discovery.


Molly’s Calculated Schemes: A Child’s Perspective

As ten-year-old Molly anticipates her half-sister Alison’s visit from London, the narrative unfolds through the lens of a child’s mind in overdrive. Molly’s meticulous schemes to ensure a memorable visit bring to light the silent aspects of sisterhood, providing readers with a genuine portrayal of a young girl navigating relationships.


Realistic Portrayal of Family Diversity

Gritz skillfully captures the essence of a non-nuclear family structure, portraying Molly’s experiences with her divorced father and half-sister. The novel gracefully highlights the diversity of family dynamics, emphasizing that there is no singular definition of normal. Through Molly’s evolving relationships, readers witness the complexity of life situations that may not always be apparent on the surface.


Art, Passion, and Human Connection

Molly’s love for art becomes a significant aspect of the story, intertwining with her worries about a new art teacher. Gritz seamlessly incorporates the importance of artistic expression, revealing how it serves as a common ground between Molly and Alison. The novel explores the shared joy of creative pursuits, reinforcing the idea that art can serve as a universal language, transcending differences.


Embracing Emotions and Expectations

The book’s fast-paced narrative, though brief in length, skillfully navigates the realms of believable characterization. Molly’s introspective journey offers a nuanced exploration of handling emotions and expectations. Love and growth act as driving forces, propelling the story forward and revealing valuable insights into relationships, particularly those between siblings and close friends.


Conclusion: A Must-Read for Young Minds

In conclusion, August or Forever is a commendable read for children, providing a well-crafted exploration of emotions and expectations. Gritz’s narrative style, coupled with the genuine and demonstrative characterization, makes this a valuable addition to middle-grade fiction. As Molly’s journey unfolds, readers are treated to a heartfelt revelation – that familial bonds transcend blood relations, echoing a sentiment many of us hold dear: “[w]e may not be related, but to me, we’re family.”

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, and ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Fitzroy BooksMiddle Grade Fiction108 pages978-1646033072

A Heartfelt Dive into Family Dynamics August or Forever by Ona Gritz is a middle-grade novel that delves into the intricacies of family dynamics and truth. Audrey Davis shares her take on this heartfelt story that explores the complexities of relationships and self-discovery. Molly’s Calculated Schemes: A Child’s Perspective As ten-year-old Molly anticipates her half-sister…