Thursday, May 22, 2014

Review: Hope Is a Ferris Wheel

Title: Hope Is a Ferris Wheel
Author: Robin Herrera
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Pub. Date: March 11th 2014
Source: Middle Grade Madness


Four and a half stars, rounded up.


Star Mackie is a spunky young fifth grader with blue hair from the trailer park. She lives with her mom and her older sister Winter, a writer that Star adores. This adoration, mixed with the hardships of making new friends when you're the new girl, inspires Star to start a new club at school when she falls in love with the poems of Emily Dickinson. Over the course of her shaping the Emily Dickinson club, Star learns how to be herself, no matter how different her and her family may be, how to make (and keep) friends, and how to let go of the past and hope for the future.

I was blown away by this book. Though it may be categorized as middle grade/children's fiction, this book reaches right to the heart, no matter what the reader's age is. In no way was I expecting to have such deep and stirring feelings about a ten year old girl with a blue "mullet". And yet, I did. This book traverses a broad range of emotions- Star made my heart break, made me angry at some of her little classmates, and made me swell with hope that her life and her family would be okay after all. Sprinkle in some Emily Dickinson poetry and some sassy humor, as well as a broody older sister, and you have Hope Is a Ferris Wheel.

I felt that the characters were all fairly realistic, and as I sort of mentioned above, are incredibly relatable even though they are ten and sixteen, and I am in my twenties. I'm old enough to have gone through some of the Mackie family's issues, or know friends who have, and it made this book an extremely contemporary, real look at life.

I admit that in addition to the tie in of a favorite poet, Dickinson, the main reason why I wanted to read this book was the cover art. I know that's bad and everything, but the cover of this book is even more gorgeous in person than the internet suggests. I love it.

I do feel like the end rushed a bit too quickly, but other than that I have very little issue with this book. I really wish I could have heard more of Winter and Star's story, but it wasn't a cliffhanger and I completely understand the author's decision with ending the book the way she did.

This book is perfect for kids from middle school up to adult age, and I especially recommend it for those who were/are the "different" kid, the new kid, or the picked on kid. I also recommend this to anyone with an interest in poetry, as it is a heavy theme throughout this book.


  1. I can see why you recommended this book to me, it sounds delightful, I must get a copy for myself!