On the cusp of her eleventh birthday, Becky Chalmers is straddling childhood and growing up as she navigates the world of the 1960s in her idyllic hometown of Yardley, Pennsylvania. Whether it’s making new friends, her first kiss, or learning what true beauty entails, this spirited girl is an “every girl,” finding an inner faith and self-confidence that young readers will relate to. Award-winning author Diane Campbell Green masterfully blends elements of yesterday and today in her touching coming of age middle-grade novel, Becky Chalmers Beautified, the fifth in a series.
In skillfully capturing the essence of this era, Green didn’t have to dig too deep. A child of the ’50s and ’60s herself, Green drew from her own experiences and memories of her wonderful childhood growing up in the Delaware River town of Yardley. Her memories of lazy summers playing outside, peashooters and paper airplanes, fishing trips and kickball games inspired her to write children’s stories, like her Becky Chalmers series, that share the simple yet life-changing experiences of a young girl.
In Becky Chalmers Beautified, young readers follow Becky through her days as she learns about herself and the world she lives in. Whether it’s the bond with her best friend Sharon being put to the test when she moves away, finding comfort in community during a Christmas Eve bonfire outing following President Kennedy’s assassination, or making a wise friend in an unlikely stranger named Mr. O-Angel outside her library, Becky’s experiences have lasting meaning.
When Becky’s eleventh birthday nears, she tells her mother she doesn’t want a doll. She wants something that will make her beautiful. Becky and her friends’ efforts include staining their lips with red M&Ms, dousing in perfume, and painting their nails. When a chance encounter during a snowy walking trip to the grocery store has Becky helping a cold and frightened little girl, Becky learns that beauty comes from within—from her kind and gentle heart.
Reminiscent of beloved characters such as Ramona Quimby and Scout Finch of a bygone children’s book era, Becky Chalmers Beautified exudes the emotional appeal of a childhood of the ’60s with the modern strength and vigor of girl storybook characters today. Diane Campbell Green provides middle-grade readers with an eloquent story that will stand the test of time, a true classic in the making. This new release is available now at Amazon.com.
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