Books for Teens: This is the Story of You

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This is the Story of You
Chronicle Books / Raincoast Books
By Beth Kephart
264 pages
age 13-18

Synopsis from Raincoast Books:

On Haven, a six-mile long, half-mile-wide stretch of barrier island, Mira Banul and her Year-Rounder friends have proudly risen to every challenge. But then a superstorm defies all predictions and devastates the island, upending all logic and stranding Mira’s mother and brother on the mainland. Nothing will ever be the same. A stranger appears in the wreck of Mira’s home. A friend obsessed with vanishing disappears. As the mysteries deepen, Mira must find the strength to carry on-to somehow hold her memories in place while learning to trust a radically reinvented future. Gripping and poetic, This Is the Story of You is about the beauty of nature and the power of family, about finding hope in the wake of tragedy and recovery in the face of overwhelming loss.

Visiting Haven in This is the Story of You reminded me of visiting Florida’s Key West, making it a great summer read. I’ll admit it was a little tough getting into the story. A fair amount of the beginning focuses on setting the stage, brining you into Mira’s world as a Year Rounder. It wasn’t until there was a lead-up to the storm that I was really hooked. Hearing the radio update on the storm that never came but was suddenly upon the town was a great transition along with how nature changed.

Nature. We hear about its unpredictable behaviour in the news every day. The power behind a storm can test the foundation of any town and the strength of people. The storm that hits Haven seems to arrive unexpectedly, when the town is unawares including Mira who is home alone. This is the Story of You explores a young girl’s determination and the strength of a community to come together. I doubt I would have the courage to do what Mira did but maybe that’s the point. Sometimes we only realize what we’re capable of accomplishing when put to the test. The fact that Mira is a high school student, an age group often discarded, will resonate with young readers.

This is the Story of You touches on self awareness, the importance of family as well as loss. You are transported into the small ocean town and the power of small communities. It also reminds us that those often discounted, like young people or old people, can offer unexpected gifts if given the chance. I enjoyed reading the story of Mira and her town but I loved experiencing the very different landscape than the city I live in now.

Additional Reading: This One Summer.

You can find a copy of This is the Story of You from Raincoast Books or your local bookstore. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations.

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