Mama Cried by Talia Haven

Mama Cried by Talia Haven
Publisher: Sheehan and Haven
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (8 pages)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

Jenny was enjoying herself on the swings when Azula, one of the guardians of the playground came to take her away.

Together they journey to a cinder building where Jenny must make a powerful decision.

Some decisions can only be made by one person. This is one of them.

Jenny immediately intrigued me. There is a lot of information about her personality and her past that is left up to the reader to infer from a small handful of clues. In this case, that was a smart decision. She isn’t the kind of character who needs to be described in great detail. Her reactions to her current situation are in some ways more important than what her life was like before she arrived at the playground.

There was a big discrepancy between the subject matter of this tale and who it appeared to be written for. Based on the bittersweet cover and blurb, I was expecting something geared toward readers who are just beginning elementary school. There are themes and plot twists that aren’t appropriate for that age range. While I enjoyed what Ms. Haven did with her ideas, I’d be hesitant to recommend it to the kids who would probably be most interested in it.

The plot itself was fast-paced and engaging. I’m usually able to figure out the endings of these kinds of stories well before the author spells everything out in full, but this time I was honestly unsure which choice Jenny would make or how it would all end. I truly enjoyed being stumped, though, and will be curious to see what the author comes up with in the future.

I’d recommend Mama Cried to anyone in the most for something that will keep them guessing until the end.

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