Monday, May 20, 2019
There is a teeny tiny spoiler ahead for the graphic novel Sincerely Harriet by author and illustrator Sarah Winifred Searle, so move along now if you don't want to read it!
Anyway, the year is 1990 and it's hot in Chicago, where Harriet Flores has just moved with her hard working parents. Because of their jobs, they are rarely home so Harriet spends her time writing to her old camp friends and hanging out with her downstairs neighbor Pearl.
As the story develops we slowly realize that Harriet is sick - she falls down a lot, she wets the bed, and (here comes the spoiler!!!) we eventually find out that she has Multiple Sclerosis. Her parents moved to Chicago to get her better medical care, and her camp "friends" are not really her friends - just a couple of girls that went to camp with her, and it's heavily implied she had a crush on one of them.
You see, to cope with her illness Harriet makes up stories. Well, actually, she lies. She lies because she assumes no one will understand her and how she feels - until she realizes that Pearl has a grown up son who suffered from Polio and she begins to write to him through her diary because she feels he is someone who might understand her. It's through this that Harriet discovers that her knack for lying can be positively turned into story telling.
PS: as a teen librarian I love that Harriet's parents enroll her in a creative writing program at the library's teen room! YAY TEEM ROOM!
Sincerely Harriet dropped back in January, so pick it up at your nearest book store or library.
3/5 book marks, pretty good, though a bit short.