Rummanah Aasi

Description:  After Val’s treatment shows real promise and Mr. Owens accepts a full-time position in the city, Thyme has to face the frightening possibility that the move to New York is permanent. Thyme loves her brother, and knows the trial could save his life—she’d give anything for him to be well—but she still wants to go home, although the guilt of not wanting to stay is agonizing. She finds herself even more mixed up when her heart feels the tug of new friends, a first crush, and even a crotchety neighbor and his sweet whistling bird. All Thyme can do is count the minutes, the hours, and days, and hope time can bring both a miracle for Val and a way back home.

Review: Counting Thyme is a moving family story that relies less on melodrama and more on real, heartfelt emotions. When Thyme’s baby brother, Val, is accepted into a cancer treatment trial in New York, their family is uprooted from California with the hope of a cure. Thyme believes the move will be temporary and she can rejoin her best friend back home. As Val’s treatments go through series of improvements and set backs, her parents keep secrets, pay less attention to her, and her sister gets involved in school, Thyme begins to wonder if New York might be a more permanent arrangement. Thyme is torn between her own selfish desires as she collects "time" on a little sheets of paper for good behavior in hopes of purchasing a flight back home and wanting to provide love and support for her brother. When things begin to get complicated at school with new friends and a first crush, Thyme feels torn between two places—her family and making her own way. Conklin beautifully captures Thyme's emotional struggle. She is quite aware of the toll Val's treatment takes on all of her family members, but she also can not help but feel adrift when she is not included and tuned into what is going on. The family dynamics are well developed, especially Thyme and Val's relationship that often brought a lump to my throat is incredibly sweet. Counting Thyme showcases the stress and tension that can happen during a family crisis.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 4 and up.

If you like this book try: See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles, A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass, Ida B: ... And Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan
2 Responses
  1. Such an interesting topic! Treatments do indeed take a toll on all family members, usually involve sacrifice and I can easily see guilt as the healthy members, especially children, want something for themselves.

  2. This sounds like an important novel for younger kids who might be enduring a struggle like Thyme. I hope it all turns out well for the family.

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails