All the Greys on Greene Street
SoHo, 1981. Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist—and in her neighborhood, that's normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate sculptures in a corner of their loft, leaving Ollie to roam the streets of New York with her best friends Richard and Alex, drawing everything that catches her eye.Then everything falls apart. Ollie's dad disappears in the middle of the night, leaving her only a cryptic note and instructions to destroy it. Her mom has gone to bed, and she's not getting up. Apollo is hiding something, Alex is acting strange, and Richard has questions about the mysterious stranger he saw outside. And someone keeps calling, looking for a missing piece of art. . . .Olympia knows her dad is the key--but first, she has to find him, and time is running out.

All the Greys on Greene Street Details

TitleAll the Greys on Greene Street
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 4th, 2019
PublisherViking Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780451479532
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Historical, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Fiction, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Art

All the Greys on Greene Street Review

  • Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 solid stars!12-year-old Olympia is an artist living in SoHo in 1981, which isn’t all that uncommon in her neighborhood. Her father and his friend Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother sees the beauty in everything and makes intricate sculptures out of everyday ordinary items. But one morning she wakes up and her father has left the country, leaving her and her mom alone and now her mom won’t get out of bed. The only thing he left behind was a cryptic note that he aske 3.5 solid stars!12-year-old Olympia is an artist living in SoHo in 1981, which isn’t all that uncommon in her neighborhood. Her father and his friend Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother sees the beauty in everything and makes intricate sculptures out of everyday ordinary items. But one morning she wakes up and her father has left the country, leaving her and her mom alone and now her mom won’t get out of bed. The only thing he left behind was a cryptic note that he asked for it to be destroyed. Apollo is acting strange and someone keeps calling for missing artwork.This was a quiet, well-written book that circles around family, friendship, art, and mystery. It touches on the subject of depression and what it means living with a parent who suffers from depression. It was easy to forget at times that Olympia was only 12-year-old girl that did not know how to deal with her mother unable to get out of bed and some of the scenes tugged on my heartstrings for the little girl that held out hope. But it was nice to see that when she finally let them, Olympia did have a great support network behind her back that ended up being there for when she needed them most. I liked that it revolved around art and there was even a bit of a mystery thrown into the mix.Laura Tucker’s writing overall is quiet and beautiful. Tucker really knows how to flesh out her characters and make them appear human. I found myself sympathizing with her.That being said, however, I struggled with the pacing of the book. I felt like the story started out and ended strong, but it meandered a bit in the middle. It could have been a bit shorter. The subject matter for middle grade was a little hard, but depression can hit an adult any point in child life, even if it is something hard to read. I also do wish the time period was used a bit more in the writing. The story is definitely very character and art driven, but it was set in 1981 in SoHo and I found the time and setting interesting choice.Overall. I thought this was a lovely written debut that makes me extremely excited for future works from this author. It touched on tough subjects, but very important ones. I thought in general, the author handled it really well and I cannot wait to see what she does next.
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  • Vikki VanSickle
    January 1, 1970
    A sensitive portrait of a young girl struggling with her place in the world after her father runs off to France for mysterious reasons and her mother retreats to her bedroom and will not come out. Ollie has great friends and adults in her life, but she goes out of her way to ensure they don't realize how dire the situation is at home with her mother, clearly suffering from depression. NYC in the 1980s is just as vibrant a character as Ollie's friends and neighbours. A great middle grade read for A sensitive portrait of a young girl struggling with her place in the world after her father runs off to France for mysterious reasons and her mother retreats to her bedroom and will not come out. Ollie has great friends and adults in her life, but she goes out of her way to ensure they don't realize how dire the situation is at home with her mother, clearly suffering from depression. NYC in the 1980s is just as vibrant a character as Ollie's friends and neighbours. A great middle grade read for fans of Rebecca Stead, Susin Nielsen, or Kate DiCamillo.
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  • Kristen Unger
    January 1, 1970
    A cat loving artist protagonist and a compelling plot. The voice rings clear and true. In Olympia, a young artist’s eye, heart, and soul are well captured.
  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    While Ollie sticks to graphite grey in her drawings, Tucker's debut vibrates with vivid color in its strong sense of place and well-sketched characters. It has that timeless quintessence that evokes such New York City adventures as Harriet the Spy and The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler, and it is sure to delight fans of Rebecca Stead and Laura Marx.
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  • Tory
    January 1, 1970
    You know what? Biting the bullet. Five stars. This is a book written by an AUTHOR. Laura Tucker is someone who knows how to WRITE: to create characters, scenarios, settings, dialogue that all are from-the-gut authentic. Her words are phenomenal. Descriptions: evocative; tangible. The characters are jump-off-the-page REAL. Maybe we've seen a few too many mom-depressed-in-bed books lately, but I'm sorry, I'm going to keep reading them to remember how much my depression affects the people around me You know what? Biting the bullet. Five stars. This is a book written by an AUTHOR. Laura Tucker is someone who knows how to WRITE: to create characters, scenarios, settings, dialogue that all are from-the-gut authentic. Her words are phenomenal. Descriptions: evocative; tangible. The characters are jump-off-the-page REAL. Maybe we've seen a few too many mom-depressed-in-bed books lately, but I'm sorry, I'm going to keep reading them to remember how much my depression affects the people around me: to see beyond myself and keep trying to heal. Ollie is real. Richard is real. Alex is real. Apollo is real, and I want to live in their fire-escape, playground, cavorting-around-SoHo-world right there with them. Take me out for Zombie Chinese. I want to see the Terrorpole and Alex's "pet ledge." I stepped into their world for 307 pages, and I want to live with them longer. Lush, descriptive, big-hearted, REAL.
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  • Paige Green
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.Book Series: StandaloneRating: 4/5Publication Date: June 4, 2019Genre: MG ContemporaryRecommended Age: 13+ (depression, starvation, neglect, and some criminal activity)Publisher: VikingPages: 320Amazon LinkSynopsis: SoHo, 1981. Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist—and in her neighborhood, that's normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.Book Series: StandaloneRating: 4/5Publication Date: June 4, 2019Genre: MG ContemporaryRecommended Age: 13+ (depression, starvation, neglect, and some criminal activity)Publisher: VikingPages: 320Amazon LinkSynopsis: SoHo, 1981. Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist—and in her neighborhood, that's normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate sculptures in a corner of their loft, leaving Ollie to roam the streets of New York with her best friends Richard and Alex, drawing everything that catches her eye.Then everything falls apart. Ollie's dad disappears in the middle of the night, leaving her only a cryptic note and instructions to destroy it. Her mom has gone to bed, and she's not getting up. Apollo is hiding something, Alex is acting strange, and Richard has questions about the mysterious stranger he saw outside. And someone keeps calling, looking for a missing piece of art. . . .Olympia knows her dad is the key--but first, she has to find him, and time is running out.Review: I thought this book was pretty cool. I loved the art mystery and the book is full of twist and turns. The characters are well developed and fun. The writing is spectacular. And I really loved how the author put a note in the back about mental illness and really broke it down and explained it to young readers. The author also provided phone numbers for the readers to call if needed.However, I felt that the book was longer than it needed to be? Like it could have definitely ended earlier in my opinion. I felt that the pacing was a bit wonky, it was slow but fast then slow again. And overall I felt this book, while a cool art mystery, had some very concerning elements. The characters mother is suffering from depression and can't get out of bed. The father has run away to another country for a spoiler reason. The main characters teachers and adult friends do not realize the main character is wasting away (to quote "'you don't see the way she looks? Silent and starving, like something out of Dickens'... 'like a street urchin, totally neglected'"), the only character to do so is a random side character who's the mother of one of her friends. I don't know, I feel that this character was so neglected, which I bet was the intention of the book, but she should have been taken better care of. I feel angry that this child was neglected by basically everyone in the book and I feel that a teacher or that friends mother should have contacted child services to help the family and child. I feel that when the main character went to the hospital that if the main character was really wasting away as it was put in the book the doctors would have called social services. And at the end the book gives this sense of hope but from my experience and knowledge this child, if this was real, would have a lot of issues later in her life and would probably have some health issues from "silent and starving" as one adult put it in the book. I don't know, it just felt like the main character was secondary in her own book and I fear it might send a message that they're not worthy of receiving help if young readers don't read the back of the book.Verdict: a really cool art mystery but maybe some adult guidance on the tougher subjects.
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  • Liv
    January 1, 1970
    Rebecca Stead blurbed this book, and I understand why. There’s a distinct When You Reach Me flavor to All the Greys on Greene Street - to its benefit, I think. WYRM is, at the end of the day, a fantasy book, and ATGOGS is not, but there is something magical about Ollie’s story and the way Tucker writes it. And boy, can Tucker write. She conveys the feeling of looking at art, at creating it. She plays with tense. She creates characters so believable they threatened to leap off the page. Her style Rebecca Stead blurbed this book, and I understand why. There’s a distinct When You Reach Me flavor to All the Greys on Greene Street - to its benefit, I think. WYRM is, at the end of the day, a fantasy book, and ATGOGS is not, but there is something magical about Ollie’s story and the way Tucker writes it. And boy, can Tucker write. She conveys the feeling of looking at art, at creating it. She plays with tense. She creates characters so believable they threatened to leap off the page. Her style is pitch-perfect and clear, conveying complicated ideas with seeming ease.From the publisher’s description, I was expecting a mystery, a sort of Chasing Vermeer-style romp, but this book is much more about character than it is about adventure. In fact, there’s not much sleuthing at all. Instead, there’s Ollie, who remains sympathetic even when she’s being unreasonable, and the friends who surround her. My favorite thing about this book was how kind everyone was, and how kindly the narrative treated them. Everyone around Ollie is passionate about something. Alex loves stunts; Richard loves monsters. Tucker treats both of these interests with respect, painting the boys as people with complex inner lives. Similarly, Ollie is a true artist who sees the world in fascinating ways. Her art is real art; Tucker doesn’t patronize her or diminish her passion just because she’s a child, and neither does anyone else in the book. This book is fairly dripping with compassion. Ollie cares for these people, and they care for her, even if they don’t always see eye to eye. In one especially lovely scene, Alex and Ollie wordlessly reconcile while running through a forest on a beach. It’s a joy to read.Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this book is largely about living with a parent who has depression. Tucker handles this issue with nuance. Ollie is, rightfully, hurt and confused when her mother goes to bed and refuses to get up. Those feelings are real, and as with everything else in the book, Tucker does not shy away from or diminish them just because her protagonist - and her audience - is young. At the same time, she does not demonize Ollie’s mother. The ending is not neat; it would not make sense if it were, because mental illness can’t just be solved over the course of one book. But it is, by the end, a positive book, one about the complicated joy of creating and of loving.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    *Review is of an advanced reader copySet against an early 1980's backdrop, this tender novel is the story of a quintessential family of artists. Twelve-year-old Olympia, "Ollie", itches to create. She is a consummate observer of her surroundings, predisposed to want to put her thoughts and feelings down on paper. As the book begins Ollie's father is missing and her mother has taken to bed, overwhelmed with depression. Ollie seeks to hide her family situation from her friends whilst simultaneousl *Review is of an advanced reader copySet against an early 1980's backdrop, this tender novel is the story of a quintessential family of artists. Twelve-year-old Olympia, "Ollie", itches to create. She is a consummate observer of her surroundings, predisposed to want to put her thoughts and feelings down on paper. As the book begins Ollie's father is missing and her mother has taken to bed, overwhelmed with depression. Ollie seeks to hide her family situation from her friends whilst simultaneously trying to track down her father and pacify her mother.Interspersed throughout the novel are some rather interesting facts about artists, colors, and art history. Ollie's determined and creative nature shine. Nonetheless, I did not find the story fully engaging, at times it seemed to drag. However, it definitely redeemed itself with wholly satisfying ending and a cast of likable, albeit quirky, characters.
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  • Dreaday
    January 1, 1970
    This was really well-written, but so well-written it got super depressing for me at times. I’m glad it exists, but not for me.
  • Neuravinci
    January 1, 1970
    All the Greys on Greene Street was a pleasant read, especially with the tidbits of history thrown in. Who knew mummy brown was actually, at one point, made of real ancient Egyptian mummies…12-year old Olympia is a precocious child with an artistic bent living in SoHo in 1981. Her parents are both artists, with her father and his friend running an art restoration business. Olympia is exposed to the world of color mixing through the business partner, Apollo, who teaches her which pigments mixed cr All the Greys on Greene Street was a pleasant read, especially with the tidbits of history thrown in. Who knew mummy brown was actually, at one point, made of real ancient Egyptian mummies…12-year old Olympia is a precocious child with an artistic bent living in SoHo in 1981. Her parents are both artists, with her father and his friend running an art restoration business. Olympia is exposed to the world of color mixing through the business partner, Apollo, who teaches her which pigments mixed create what colors, and how to tell one color from the next.When Olympia’s father disappears, thereby throwing her mother into a deep depression which leaves he unable to get out of bed for weeks, Olympia is left to fend for herself. She buys peanuts from a convenience store and eats dinners at friends’ houses.All the while, Olympia is left frustrated at not knowing where exactly her father left and why (though her mother and her both talk about this ‘Vouley Voo’- a woman her father ran off with), and Olympia eventually learns her father has left for France, presumably with his lover.Olympia is feeling everything, but does her best to go through her days without alerting any adults to her home situation. She thinks she can “do it on her own,” and help her mother out of bed soon and finishing an art gallery piece she’s commissioned to complete.But nothing Olympia does gets her mother out of bed, and nowhere is she able to find contact information for her father.Overall, the book is a nice little mystery, with a kid-feel to it that leaves you feeling all the confusing things a younger, but precocious, girl feels. I thought the writing was clean and neat, like the black lines of Olympia’s favorite Blackwings. The historical facts thrown in added a more “realism” feel to the book and made me want to continue reading. It even had me googling facts to make sure they were true!What I love is how Olympia gets through her situation without harboring hate or anger – she accepts certain things in life, tries her best to make do, and leans on help when she realizes she needs it.I loved how Olympia found love beyond her parents and the friends she already had, and was able to extend her social network and repair certain aspects of her life.I enjoyed the book immensely, and even with an eye injury that affected vision, I cracked open the last few chapters just to make sure that Olympia was going to be alright, after all.
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  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    This superb middle-grade novel introduces readers to a young artist who finds herself at the center of a mystery. Ollie’s parents are both artists. Her father and his partner Apollo restore art work and her mother creates sculptures. But then one night, her father leaves for France with his new French girlfriend and her mother won’t get out of bed. Ollie fends for herself, eating apples and peanuts, meeting Apollo for meals out, and protecting the secret of her mother’s depression. She spends ti This superb middle-grade novel introduces readers to a young artist who finds herself at the center of a mystery. Ollie’s parents are both artists. Her father and his partner Apollo restore art work and her mother creates sculptures. But then one night, her father leaves for France with his new French girlfriend and her mother won’t get out of bed. Ollie fends for herself, eating apples and peanuts, meeting Apollo for meals out, and protecting the secret of her mother’s depression. She spends time with her two best friends, Richard and Alex, throughout their Soho neighborhood. Ollie discovers that there is more to her father’s disappearance than she thought and is determined to find out what is truly going on.Filled with compelling characters and a mystery worth sleuthing, this novel is a delight of a read. Tucker uses the setting of New York City as a vivid backdrop to the tale. Soho itself serves as almost another character in the book with its lofts for artists, empty buildings, and occasional illegal poster hanging. When Ollie and Alex head to an island getaway, that setting too is beautifully depicted as a foil to the city and is equally celebrated too. Her writing is deft and nicely keeps the pace brisk and the questions about Ollie’s parents fresh.All of the young characters in the book are fully realized and each have a distinct personality that makes sense and carries through the title. Apollo, a giant of a man who serves as a rock for Ollie in this tumultuous time, is also a well depicted character. Ollie’s mother is an important character whose depression keeps the reader from knowing her better. The subject of parental mental illness is handled with frankness and the book concludes with a sense of hope.A fresh mix of mystery, art and secrets, this book is full of vibrant colors and not just Greys. Appropriate for ages 9-12.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisherOlympia lives in New York City, in an artist's loft with her mother, in 1981. Her father has just left to live in France with another woman, and her mother is now refusing to get out of bed to do any work at all. Ollie goes to the convenience store for food, and hangs out with her friends Alex and Richard. She is an artist herself, preferring pencil drawings. When she is approached by a man who has one of her drawings, which he says depicts a statue stolen from a Fre ARC provided by the publisherOlympia lives in New York City, in an artist's loft with her mother, in 1981. Her father has just left to live in France with another woman, and her mother is now refusing to get out of bed to do any work at all. Ollie goes to the convenience store for food, and hangs out with her friends Alex and Richard. She is an artist herself, preferring pencil drawings. When she is approached by a man who has one of her drawings, which he says depicts a statue stolen from a French church, she starts to understand that perhaps her father is in bigger trouble than just leaving his family for another woman. She tries to unravel the mystery with the help of her father's business partner, Apollo, but her mother's decline continues, and she eventually must get help. She spends time with family friends, and eventually ends up in foster care while her mother gets help. Strengths: The art scene in New York during this time period is well covered, and the idea of art forgery and theft investigated on a appropriate level. Ollie's family situation is handled delicately, and it's good that she has a support network and good friends. Her own interest in art is explored, and the inclusion of "her" drawings is interesting. Weaknesses: Personally, I am never a fan of stories that involve parents who give up, but at least the author includes a helpful note at the back about depression and where children who have adults affected by this can get help. From a young readers perspective, this is a slow moving book where not a lot happens, and the bleak cover does reflect the story line.What I really think: This was rather long, and art related mysteries circulate very poorly in my library, so I will pass on purchasing.
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  • Tara
    January 1, 1970
    All The Greys On Greene Street, the debut novel by Laura Tucker, takes place in SoHo, New York City in 1981, and revolves around 12 year old Olympia as she tries to find out why her father ran off, while struggling to cope with her mother's depression. I loved many of the characters in this book, especially Olympia. I really felt for her and all she had to deal with throughout the story. Her father left and she doesn't know why, her mother doesn't get out of bed because she is so depressed, and All The Greys On Greene Street, the debut novel by Laura Tucker, takes place in SoHo, New York City in 1981, and revolves around 12 year old Olympia as she tries to find out why her father ran off, while struggling to cope with her mother's depression. I loved many of the characters in this book, especially Olympia. I really felt for her and all she had to deal with throughout the story. Her father left and she doesn't know why, her mother doesn't get out of bed because she is so depressed, and Olympia is left feeling abandoned. She loves to draw and I loved how art and creativity were a big part of this book. Olympia expresses herself through her art and I think her creativity and drawings help her to process many of her emotions. I also loved the close friendships she had with Richard and Alex. Her friendships helped her cope better with the chaos in her life. I really liked the setting of this story. Soho in the early 1980's seemed like such an interesting place and time, especially the art scene. I loved how the author described the feel of the city and the creative atmosphere at that time. There were interesting facts about art throughout the story that I found fascinating. I also loved the artwork by Kelly Murphy that was featured on certain pages throughout the book. This story was difficult to read at times because of the serious situations that take place. After Olympia's dad runs off, she is left living with her mother who hasn't left her bed in over two weeks because of her depression. I have struggled with depression all my life so it was hard to read about what Olympia went through just trying to get her mother out of bed. I felt for Olympia and her mother, but I really did not like how her mother neglected her or the way she treated her. I know firsthand how destructive depression can be, but it was really difficult for me to like her mother. I also found it difficult to like her father because he basically abandoned her too. I just felt so bad for Olympia throughout the story. This was a slower paced read, and it took me a little while to fully immerse myself into the story. However, as I got to know more about the characters, especially Olympia, I couldn't stop reading and I flew through the last half of the book. Overall, I found this to be an engrossing and touching read, and I definitely recommend checking it out (I do think this would be better for older children though, because of the difficult subject matter). I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.*I received an advance reader's copy of this book from the publisher for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Lisa Greenberg
    January 1, 1970
    Laura Tucker beautifully designs a love letter to New York by combining an art mystery, a secret romance, and a coming-of-age story around a fascinating young girl Olympia who is both an artist and a wry and often funny observer of the world around her. Twelve-year old Olympia doesn’t know why her mother won’t get out of bed, but could it be because dad went to France? Or could it be her mother is scared of her first big gallery commission for her strangely beautiful junk sculptures? Olympia tak Laura Tucker beautifully designs a love letter to New York by combining an art mystery, a secret romance, and a coming-of-age story around a fascinating young girl Olympia who is both an artist and a wry and often funny observer of the world around her. Twelve-year old Olympia doesn’t know why her mother won’t get out of bed, but could it be because dad went to France? Or could it be her mother is scared of her first big gallery commission for her strangely beautiful junk sculptures? Olympia takes up her pencils and sketchbook to understand the world and the people around her, “reducing shadows to a puzzle of light and dark shapes”. As she draws her way through SoHo in 1981, Olympia ponders on the beauty of the carved head missing from her dad’s restoration studio. It spoke to her so closely that she could never capture it on the page. However, the drawing she did make and trade for a treat at the Korean grocery store helps to bring that carved head back home. Olympia’s perspicacity and Tucker’s precise and poetic writing introduces the reader into a world of fascinating characters from SoHo and the artist world it sheltered. Each character stands out and makes the reader feel that perhaps Richard, the collector of fabulous monsters, or the Wake-Up Artist, or even Linda, the dieting mother who can’t wait to get to the beach and be her own person, deserves a book of his or her own! Young readers will love this glimpse of Olympia discovering what kind of secrets should be kept and what kind of secrets should be shared. Older readers will relish the writing and vision of a world of hope and resilience and love.
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    All the Greys on Greene Street by Laura Tucker will make you feverishly turn pages to solve the mystery of Olympia’s dad’s abrupt disappearance, leaving his art restoration business with partner Apollo who’s mum on the subject. Olympia, who goes by Ollie, is a talented artist herself and is never without her notebook and Blackwing pencil, also feels the strain of her mother’s refusal to leave her bed. Your heart will break for twelve-year-old Ollie who bears the burden of keeping the family secr All the Greys on Greene Street by Laura Tucker will make you feverishly turn pages to solve the mystery of Olympia’s dad’s abrupt disappearance, leaving his art restoration business with partner Apollo who’s mum on the subject. Olympia, who goes by Ollie, is a talented artist herself and is never without her notebook and Blackwing pencil, also feels the strain of her mother’s refusal to leave her bed. Your heart will break for twelve-year-old Ollie who bears the burden of keeping the family secrets while simultaneously trying to solve both issues, attend school and complete a project. I loved her relationship with her friends, energetic Alex and monster-loving Richard, who were so distinct and supportive and provided some comic relief. In fact, all of the characters were carefully crafted and descriptive. The writing was very vivid and transported you to the streets of New York City and the loft apartment (maybe even smell the paints or taste the Chinese food) enhanced by the lovey illustrations by Kelly Murphy. While this story had some heavy subject matter, it was also a wonderful art lesson and appreciation for so many mediums. I was satisfied with the ending including the conclusions of the intricate subplots and appreciated the note to the reader that carefully, but explicitly explained how to realize the symptoms of depression and where to find help.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Got this book at the high school I work at's Scholastic Book Fair a few weeks ago. I love stories about/set in New York, but I was drawn to the cover art (not usually a factor for me) and the blurb on the back, so I put it into my pile and was excited to read it over Spring Break. I also can't lie, there was a minor thrill in reading a book before it was released.I know very little about the art world, but I appreciated how the author wove it into the story. The characters were realistic and bel Got this book at the high school I work at's Scholastic Book Fair a few weeks ago. I love stories about/set in New York, but I was drawn to the cover art (not usually a factor for me) and the blurb on the back, so I put it into my pile and was excited to read it over Spring Break. I also can't lie, there was a minor thrill in reading a book before it was released.I know very little about the art world, but I appreciated how the author wove it into the story. The characters were realistic and believable, and I enjoyed the New York she wrote about (it is NOT modern times, though I couldn't discern exactly which decade it is set in (my guess was early 90s)) (sorry if it was stated somewhere and I totally glossed over it). I enjoyed this author's style of writing and describing very much, and would happily read her future endeavors.I appreciated most that the author dedicated pages after the story's end to talk about depression/mental health, recognizing signs in parents, and encouraging readers to reach out for help through various modalities if they felt it necessary. It was a great reminder for young (and old!) readers that depression affects millions of adults and that it is okay to ask for help; that it's not a thing to hide from or thing to be embarrassed of.
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  • Kim McGee
    January 1, 1970
    Even though this is deemed a middle-grade book, reader beware it deals with some tough issues like child abandonment, depression, and potentially criminal activities by a parent. It is also a wonderfully written, heartfelt guidebook for families that may be dealing with depression. Olympia (Ollie) is blessed by having two artistic parents, living in a close-knit artist neighborh0od and having a best friend who comes from a mostly normal family. Ollie is not having an easy time of it since her da Even though this is deemed a middle-grade book, reader beware it deals with some tough issues like child abandonment, depression, and potentially criminal activities by a parent. It is also a wonderfully written, heartfelt guidebook for families that may be dealing with depression. Olympia (Ollie) is blessed by having two artistic parents, living in a close-knit artist neighborh0od and having a best friend who comes from a mostly normal family. Ollie is not having an easy time of it since her dad ran off to France suddenly to help a woman and who might be connected to art crime and her mom basically went to bed after her dad's disappearance and has not gotten up for weeks. This leaves Ollie to care for her mother (in bed), fend for herself and solve the mystery of a carved head that may or may not have been stolen. She finds peace in her drawings and must learn to trust her friends, both young and old. More kids are dealing with depression and other mental disease issues at home as well as families splitting up. Ollie's story will resonate with kids and hopefully promote much-needed discussion. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    Depression is a topic not often found in children’s books or books for young adults. Yet many children daily deal with a parent suffering from depression. It is so important that children “see themselves” in the books they read, so this is a needed topic. Laura Tucker handles is well almost as if she has lived in Olympia’s shoes. She closes the book with a short section on living with depression, including a hot line number. The book is illustrated with sketches by Kelly Murphy. Her sketches sho Depression is a topic not often found in children’s books or books for young adults. Yet many children daily deal with a parent suffering from depression. It is so important that children “see themselves” in the books they read, so this is a needed topic. Laura Tucker handles is well almost as if she has lived in Olympia’s shoes. She closes the book with a short section on living with depression, including a hot line number. The book is illustrated with sketches by Kelly Murphy. Her sketches show snapshots of the story periodically throughout out the book. Possible Areas of ConcernThere is some alcohol use and smoking by some of the adults in the story. Olympia’s father goes to France with a woman who isn’t his wife and later in the story we learn that Apollo, her father’s business partner, is in love with her mother. At the end of the story it looks as though they may be getting together. While these types of situations exist, not all libraries will be able to include this book in their collection. While it is a well-written book, I am not sure I could place it in my k-12 Christian school library due to these concerns.
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  • Alexa Hamilton
    January 1, 1970
    If you like art, read this book. Olympia is the daughter of an artist and an art restorer who lives in a funky loft in Soho, in 1981, before everyone did that. She is beyond the definition of a latch key kid, especially when her father leaves and her mother is so depressed she can't get out of bed. I loved all the little details here, and the fact that Olympia's life is very flexible so it's easy for her to hide her mother's issues--well, easy in that no one knows. It's not easy for Olympia to h If you like art, read this book. Olympia is the daughter of an artist and an art restorer who lives in a funky loft in Soho, in 1981, before everyone did that. She is beyond the definition of a latch key kid, especially when her father leaves and her mother is so depressed she can't get out of bed. I loved all the little details here, and the fact that Olympia's life is very flexible so it's easy for her to hide her mother's issues--well, easy in that no one knows. It's not easy for Olympia to handle at all. Last time this happened, her father was here to handle it but there's no one now. Fortunately, Olympia has her father's work partner and some really good friends that wind up helping her when they don't know and when they do know. This book was about all that, and about Olympia growing up and figuring out her family, but also made me want to grab a sketchbook and figure out how to draw just like Olympia. This would definitely make a fabulous book club book.
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  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    A debut book that hits the mark in all categories. There is lyrical descriptive writing here that takes readers into a first-hand experience of being an artist and seeing the world through a young artist's eyes. Olympia's experiences visiting the Long Island cottage and seeing the sea for the first time were so evocative it was like walking barefoot with her. Tucker does an extraordinary job with her characters including all the secondary characters who truly come alive with all their quirks, is A debut book that hits the mark in all categories. There is lyrical descriptive writing here that takes readers into a first-hand experience of being an artist and seeing the world through a young artist's eyes. Olympia's experiences visiting the Long Island cottage and seeing the sea for the first time were so evocative it was like walking barefoot with her. Tucker does an extraordinary job with her characters including all the secondary characters who truly come alive with all their quirks, issues and motivations. Olympia, her thoughts, worries, struggles and her understanding of her world, truly came alive in this story for me.This is not a fast read. It requires the reader to slow down and really look at Olympia's and, in turn, our world. There are lots of important and well-presented issues here for readers to consider but the greatest gift of this book is meeting Olympia and glimpsing the world through this young artist's eye.
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  • Leigh
    January 1, 1970
    I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher through SLJ'S Middle Grade Magic virtual conference in exchange for an honest review. There was a lot I liked about this book. I loved Ollie and think her situation was portrayed in a very real and relatable way. For readers with an interest or background in art, the depth of knowledge and technique were well detailed. I'd love to read a review from a middle grade reader, as my primary criticism was that it was a slower read for me than ma I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher through SLJ'S Middle Grade Magic virtual conference in exchange for an honest review. There was a lot I liked about this book. I loved Ollie and think her situation was portrayed in a very real and relatable way. For readers with an interest or background in art, the depth of knowledge and technique were well detailed. I'd love to read a review from a middle grade reader, as my primary criticism was that it was a slower read for me than many in this genre. In the beginning I felt the characters were introduced in away that it took me awhile to keep track of who everyone was to Ollie. It was a book that finished much stronger than it started so I hope middle grade readers stick it out to the end. Both the story and the writing really picked up steam as Ollie left for her trip to the island.
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  • Martha Meyer
    January 1, 1970
    This may be the best 2019 novel I have read for kids this year (yes, maybe even better than The Line Tender!) This book, like The Line Tender, is about a young artist who draws. She is also grieving -- her father has just left the family and then even worse, her artist mother has a Major Depressive Episode and won’t come out of bed. Olivia is an awesome narrator and the NYC community around her -- other artists, friends, shopkeepers - is so well characterized, you feel you’d recognize these folk This may be the best 2019 novel I have read for kids this year (yes, maybe even better than The Line Tender!) This book, like The Line Tender, is about a young artist who draws. She is also grieving -- her father has just left the family and then even worse, her artist mother has a Major Depressive Episode and won’t come out of bed. Olivia is an awesome narrator and the NYC community around her -- other artists, friends, shopkeepers - is so well characterized, you feel you’d recognize these folks if they walked by. Beautiful and deeply engaging. (I even woke up early one day worrying about Olivia.)
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  • Jeani
    January 1, 1970
    This is the story of Olympia and her life at a time when her father has left, and her mother won't leave her room while in the throes of a deep depression. I found the story predictable, even though it's realistic. I liked the diversity of the story, and thought that the details related to restoring art and creating art fascinating. Overall, though, there are too many storylines and the pace of the telling is plodding. This review is based on an Advanced Reader's Copy that I picked up at 2019 AL This is the story of Olympia and her life at a time when her father has left, and her mother won't leave her room while in the throes of a deep depression. I found the story predictable, even though it's realistic. I liked the diversity of the story, and thought that the details related to restoring art and creating art fascinating. Overall, though, there are too many storylines and the pace of the telling is plodding. This review is based on an Advanced Reader's Copy that I picked up at 2019 ALA Midwinter.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    Although there is a growing adult audience for YA literature, this does not seem to be true for middle grade books. I suspect that adult readers of middle grade books are primarily educators and parents/grandparents of children 5-14.This is a shame, because there is much of literary merit being written for this age group. This debut is worthy of such attention. Adults __ as well as children __ who crave well-crafted stories, intriguing, complex characters facing challenges should find this book Although there is a growing adult audience for YA literature, this does not seem to be true for middle grade books. I suspect that adult readers of middle grade books are primarily educators and parents/grandparents of children 5-14.This is a shame, because there is much of literary merit being written for this age group. This debut is worthy of such attention. Adults __ as well as children __ who crave well-crafted stories, intriguing, complex characters facing challenges should find this book engrossing and appealing.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Great depiction of life in SoHo in the 1980s (in the mid-80s I worked nearby and enjoyed the trip down memory lane). Olympia's friendships and activities are also very well depicted; her struggle to keep what's going on at home with her mother's depression will disturb those who don't remember that era and public schools not being as involved in student home lives. The art aspect added a nice touch, but I wonder if the use of pencil was chosen because it was easier to reproduce in print.eARC pro Great depiction of life in SoHo in the 1980s (in the mid-80s I worked nearby and enjoyed the trip down memory lane). Olympia's friendships and activities are also very well depicted; her struggle to keep what's going on at home with her mother's depression will disturb those who don't remember that era and public schools not being as involved in student home lives. The art aspect added a nice touch, but I wonder if the use of pencil was chosen because it was easier to reproduce in print.eARC provided by publisher.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. Loved the characters and how the author developed them. The author does a good job of addressing the emotions that children often feel in these situations, placing blame on themselves and tring to "fix-it". I love the mystery that is woven into the story along with all the art. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about the way the parents handle the other people in their lives while they are still married to one another but, it seems to be true to life for so many kiddos these day I loved this book. Loved the characters and how the author developed them. The author does a good job of addressing the emotions that children often feel in these situations, placing blame on themselves and tring to "fix-it". I love the mystery that is woven into the story along with all the art. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about the way the parents handle the other people in their lives while they are still married to one another but, it seems to be true to life for so many kiddos these days.
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  • Christie
    January 1, 1970
    From the very first page, the description in this book is vividly beautiful and the artsy wording is worthy of the artistic characters and lifestyles portrayed. The voice of the narrator feels authentic and true. You can really feel what each character is feeling and understand what they are going through, and it tugs at the heartstrings. The writing begs the reader to keep turning the page. Ultimately, though the circumstances facing the characters are challenging and grim, Laura Tucker did ind From the very first page, the description in this book is vividly beautiful and the artsy wording is worthy of the artistic characters and lifestyles portrayed. The voice of the narrator feels authentic and true. You can really feel what each character is feeling and understand what they are going through, and it tugs at the heartstrings. The writing begs the reader to keep turning the page. Ultimately, though the circumstances facing the characters are challenging and grim, Laura Tucker did indeed "make something beautiful out of something awful" in the lives of her characters.
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  • Yapha
    January 1, 1970
    I tagged this as both Historical Fiction and Realistic Fiction -- although it is firmly set in 1981, it could easily have taken place today. The only thing missing was cell phones. That's how timeless this book is. The friendship issues, the family issues, Ollie's need to draw, Alex's need to climb -- everything essential to the book is still relevant and relatable. Parts of it did remind me of Under the Egg, but this book had a lot more layers to it. Highly recommended for grades 5 & up.ARC I tagged this as both Historical Fiction and Realistic Fiction -- although it is firmly set in 1981, it could easily have taken place today. The only thing missing was cell phones. That's how timeless this book is. The friendship issues, the family issues, Ollie's need to draw, Alex's need to climb -- everything essential to the book is still relevant and relatable. Parts of it did remind me of Under the Egg, but this book had a lot more layers to it. Highly recommended for grades 5 & up.ARC provided by publisher
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  • Trish
    January 1, 1970
    Love this book! It takes place in the 80s, and reminds me of wonderful classics like EGYPT GAME. Olympia is an old soul who sees the world in pictures. Her parents are artists as well, and they live in a NY loft. Her father leaves the country for unknown reasons, and her mother falls into a deep depression. Olympia tries to cope with the help of her two best friends and her father's assistant, all of whom are great characters in their own right.
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  • Teresa Grabs
    January 1, 1970
    Set in 1981 in New York City, Tucker's book explores how one action can change a person's life entirely. In this case, Ollie's dad leaves for France in the middle of the night. Ollie's mother retreats to her room, leaving Ollie and her friends to solve the real mystery. Filled with art, friendship, and magic, this book is a wonderful read.Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Group for the opportunity to read an advance reader copy.
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