Archive | 7:28 am

ratchet (verb) to move by degrees

13 Aug

I approach many books with great skepticism. I assume they are mediocre until they prove otherwise. I love when I have low expectations, though, and a book catches me off guard.  It slowly builds until I realize I love the book. And so it was wit Nancy J. Cavanaugh’s  This Journal Belongs to Ratchet.


First, I hated the cover. Now that I have finished the book, I think the cover is OK. I still don’t love it, but I can see why they opted for that style.

When I read that Ratchet ( really Rachel) is a home schooled girl who lives alone with her dad, and writes in her journal as part of her language arts assignment I was even more skeptical.

But I really liked Ratchet, and Cavanaugh slowly ratcheted up the tension (pun intended) and reeled me in until I had to stay up last night to finish the book. Ratchet embodies all the doubts every kid has about everything: friends, family, growing up and her place in the world. Not having a mother, she doesn’t know how to be girlie and she really wants to be more than her father’s assistant mechanic. And yet it is her abilities as a mechanic that lead her into the situations that help her figure out some of her question.

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