There is something extraordinarily special about the relationships between children and the elderly. Be it a grandparent, a great aunt, or just a special friend, the elderly are storytelling gold mines — and they love to share their anecdotes with children. Saddled with history, and without all the rules that come with being an actual parent to a young child, there is much to be cherished when it comes to these multi-generational relationships– not to mention so much to learn. Perhaps this is the reason why I so thoroughly enjoyed Walking With Miss Millie, the poignant debut novel by Tamara Bundy.
Walking With Miss Millie is set in 1968 in Rainbow, Georgia. Alice, a tween girl, is angry about her move to Rainbow. Though her mother grew up in the town, it is certainly no place Alice wants to call home. Alice is resistant to settling down in her new community — but when she is caught eavesdropping and her punishment is to walk her elderly neighbor’s dog, Clarence, Alice quickly learns that maybe Rainbow isn’t so bad after all. Why? Because Clarence won’t walk without his owner, Miss Millie, and Alice quickly finds that Miss Millie’s companionship is the highlight of every day. With their companionship comes trust… and Alice soon finds that true friends come in sizes and places we least expect.
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Walking with Miss Millie is rich with wisdom. During their walks, Alice confronts segregation and racial prejudice — and these evils become all the more painful when she learns about Miss Millie’s own tragic family history. Alice’s growth in this moving novel is beautifully conveyed, and the unexpected friendship between Alice and Millie leaps off the pages and reminds young readers that confidantes can be found in people you never intended to become friends. A lovely, touching debut for upper elementary students.
Want the book? Get it here! Walking With Miss Millie, by Tamara Bundy. HEE received a review copy of this book from the publisher; however, all opinions contained herein are expressly our own.