The World From Up Here

Book Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Cecilia Galante
Illustrator: Mike Heath
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Year: 2016
ISBN: 9780545848459
Pages: 305

Wren never felt brave. And when her mother goes to the hospital for depression, life becomes more difficult. She has to take care of her little brother, Russell, while her dad stays with Hermon. Russell has Asperger syndrome, and sometimes he can be difficult to control. With their parents gone, they are staying at Aunt Marianne's house. The students in Wren's history class have to pick a topic to do a report on. Silver, Aunt Marianne's daughter, always the brave and courageous one, picks the topic of Witch Weatherly. There was a myth that no one ever came back from the witch's mountain. Somehow Wren gets pulled into the mess as Silvers partner, and they plan to secretly hike up the mountain. They overcome many challenges to reach the witch's house, and are surprised when she is nothing like what they imagined.

Wren and Silver's journey up the mountain is the first time Wren feels brave. Both girls needed courage and bravery in order to complete the journey they started. Wren and Silver struggle together to solve the mystery of the witch, and become great friends along the way. This book often demonstrates sweet moments of friendship throughout the girls' journey. Although not everything in Wren's life is perfect, she has found the strength to push through it. Wren and Silver's discovery also helps Wren's mother through her depression. Many heavy hearts are lifted in this exciting novel filled with friendship and bravery. A great read to start conversations with children about mental health, Asperger syndrome, and other family struggles.