Review: Toning the Sweep

Title: Toning the Sweep

Author:  Angela Johnson

Publisher:  Scholastic, Inc.

At the end of Angela Johnson’s Toning the Sweep fourteen year old Emmie is preparing to embark on a journey. She has received a call to begin a new life, like it or not. The slice of her life revealed in Toning the Sweep is a picture of a broken family’s need to move forward.  Emmie and her mother travel to the California desert to collect Emmie’s Grandmother, Ola who’s future is uncertain to say the least. Ola and Emmie share everything, including their dark pasts, their waffling decision making, reluctance, refusal, and ultimately acceptance of the journey that they are both about to undertake.

The desert is a special place for Emmie, full of mystery, freedom, and solace. The desert is a place like no other, with a cast of characters as strange and mysterious as a mirage. Emmie spends her last few weeks in the desert documenting as much of the desert and Ola as she can. In the process she learns a great deal about herself, her family, and  her family’s dramatic past encounters with racism and hate.

This elegantly written family story of a Grandmother, Mother, and Granddaughter is recommended for young readers aged 11-14.

Posted by: Janine Reads

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Review: Toning the Sweep

  1. Fred Reads

    It sounds like a very interesting story. Do you think I would like it?

  2. I’m not sure Fred. It isn’t as action packed as some of the fantasy novels you usually read. The greatness of this book lays in the way that the characters interact with one another and “grow up” throughout the story. It has very short chapters- Perhaps you should check it out at the library and read the first three or so and see what you think.

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