The Key to Everything (hardcover)
by Pat Schmatz
This was a one-sitting read for me. I got into the pool, opened it, sat in the pool for a few hours, closed the book, and got out. It is a quick read, but you’ll also want to figure out how everything fits together.
The Key to Everything is a middle grade book about a girl named Tash who is in a transitional period in her life. Her father is in prison and she lives with Kevin, who rescued her from foster care. Next door is Captain Jackie, an elderly spit-fire of a woman who teaches Tash about life, imagination, and strength. A fight causes Tash to throw a special key (holding the power of imagination) at Captain Jackie, right before Kevin heads to New Zealand and Tash goes off to camp for a month. When they return, Captain Jackie’s house is locked up and no one is home. Tash must solve the mystery of Jackie’s disappearance while finding the power to fight her mortal enemy, being alone.
What I liked about this book was that it was a bit of a mystery, and I didn’t know how these people were connected. It was also a realistic portrayal of the modern family, with missing or incarcerated parents, gay family members who were discriminated against, and being stubborn when facing conflict. I like that the people in Tash’s life were all very positive and supportive, showing that it doesn’t matter if anyone is blood-related, family is family.
What I didn’t like about this book was the beginning. It took me awhile to get into it, because I as confused for the first 30 pages, which is a lot, considering the book is only 198 pages long. I am glad things came together, though, and not all of my questions were (or needed to me) answered.
Book 71 of 2018