A Debut Novel with a Gorgeous Cover

The Pick: Worth a Thousand Words by Brigit Young

The Plot: Tillie Green uses her camera skills to help her classmates find lost things, like homework, library books, and love notes. She certainly doesn’t find people. But when Jake asks her to help find his father, she finds herself agreeing to an adventure she had never planned on having.

 My favorite photographer.

My favorite photographer.

The Pros/Cons: Many of you know how I adore middle grade and YA fiction. When my daughter (the cute photographer in the photo above) picked this book, I wanted to read it as much as she did! Brigit Young’s debut book seemed like a perfect fit for my 12 year old photography enthusiast. I enjoyed reading Worth a Thousand Words. The growth of Tillie and her friend Jake’s relationship rang true and believable to me. Jake’s quirkiness and general upbeat attitude were refreshing and often laugh-out-loud funny. I also appreciated the insight Tillie gains through “reading” people in her photographs, and ultimately the insight into her own heart and feelings. I do endorse this book, and would recommend it, but I have a few cautions for parents below.

*Spoiler Alert* Tillie and Jake set out to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Jake’s father. As it turns out, his father has moved in with his girlfriend after having an affair. There is no mention or even hint of any sexual behavior, but there is no doubt that the father has broken his marriage vows. The father ends up looking like a heel, and his behavior is not condoned, but the existence of this storyline leads me to rate this book in the PG-PG13 range. I will still be allowing my daughter to finish reading the book.

The Perfect Book For: Fans of late middle grade/YA fiction, especially if they know anything about not fitting in, making new friends, or photography.

Bonus Quote: Jake quotes his dad as saying,

“Listen, Super Ladybug, there will always be jerks around. Terrible jerks. Be a nice guy and have fun and enjoy being the guy you are and the jerks will just be a ‘blah, blah, blah’ in your ear.” (Worth a Thousand Words page 106)