Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess
Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess

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Annotation: Deaf sixth-grader Macy expects disaster when she is sent to help her elderly neighbor, Iris, pack for a move to an assisted-living facility; but to Macy's surprise, Iris becomes a fast friend who helps Macy face her own impending move.
Catalog Number: #160056
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Pajama Press
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 239 pages
Availability: Special Order Only - Contact Customer Service at +1 800 637-6581 or +1 217 243-5451
ISBN: Publisher: 1-7727-8033-2 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1065-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-7727-8033-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1065-7
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
The end of sixth grade is coming with a lot more change than Macy McMillan bargained for. Not only is her mother's impending marriage saddling their cozy family of two with a new stepdad and two new stepsisters, but it also means Macy must leave her old home behind. Things seem to get worse when Macy's mom forces her to help Iris, their aging next-door neighbor, pack up her home for her own upcoming move into an assisted-living facility. While Iris struggles with her diagnosis of early dementia, Macy, who is deaf and uses sign language, struggles to communicate with her. As the relationship between this unlikely pair blossoms, will Iris be able to help Macy accept the changes in her life? This touching novel in verse makes clever use of space on each page, not only visually acknowledging Macy's deafness, but inviting all readers to understand and process language in multiple ways. Green's story confronts life's challenges with depth and realism, creating a narrative that is sparse yet impactful, with characters that are bursting with life.
Horn Book
Macy is facing a new school with a new sign-language interpreter, her mother is getting re-married, and their house is up for sale. Elderly neighbor Iris's words of wisdom--and communication through cookies--brings Macy solace and understanding. Green's free verse makes this a quick, accessible read; Macy's deafness is a feature but not the focus of this sympathetic rendering of a twelve-year-old's realistic angst.
Kirkus Reviews
Macy, a deaf sixth-grader who attends a mainstream school with an interpreter, faces enormous challenges, as her mother will soon marry, necessitating a move to her new stepdad's house.Macy and her mother have always been a team of just two; adding Alan and his twin daughters is scary and distressing. Fortunately, Macy's mom asks her to help their elderly next-door neighbor, Iris, aka "the rainbow goddess," pack up her enormous collection of books in preparation for her—also unwelcome—move into assisted living. After a big fight with her BFF, Macy is deeply isolated, in need of a friend who can provide gentle, uncritical guidance. Although Iris, tenderly portrayed, initially doesn't know any sign language, the pair communicates in writing that's just as poetic as the free verse that Macy uses to relate her emerging story. The verse trails down the pages in narrow bands leaving plenty of white space. Even characters that are barely sketched emerge fully realized through the spare yet poignant narrative. With few racial markers beyond teacher Mr. Tanaka's name and Iris' blue eyes, the book appears to subscribe to the white default. When one twin endearingly makes the sign "sister" to Macy, it's an affecting moment of deep promise. Macy's life lessons are realistic and illuminating; that she is deaf adds yet another dimension to an already powerful tale. (Fiction. 9-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 46Eleven-year-old Macy McMillan, who is deaf, is struggling with a few challenges: accepting her mother's new marriage, moving to a new house, adjusting to a stepfather and six-year-old twin stepsisters, and completing a genealogy project. When Macy's mother arranges for her to help elderly neighbor Iris pack up her belongings before moving to an assisted living facility, Macy is annoyed, then intrigued. While Macy sorts and packs boxes of books, Iris writes notes to answer Macy's questions (Iris doesn't know sign language) and bakes cookies to lift Macy's spirits. Discovering interesting facts about Iris (for instance, her name translates to "Goddess of the Rainbow") and her life story helps Macy realize that everyone makes mistakes, misjudges others, gets angry, feels alone at times, and ultimately changes "in ways you never imagined." The genealogy project she dreads ultimately evolves into the story of the people who have impacted Macy's life. The novel-in-verse structure is clever, engaging, and accessible. Macy's deafness is skillfully woven into the story, adding depth and complexity to her characterization and relationships with others. Her first-person narrative appears in regular type, sign language is spaced in bold type, and written communication is in italics. With candor and angst, Macy shares her sorrow over an argument with her best friend, her desire to stop her mother from getting married, her determination not to like her stepfather, and her affection for aging Iris. VERDICT Macy's coming-of-age anxieties, observations, and insights will resonate with middle grade readers. A strong purchase for public and school libraries.Gerry Larson, formerly at Durham School of the Arts, NC
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (6/1/17)
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (6/1/17)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 18,876
Reading Level: 5.2
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.2 / points: 3.0 / quiz: 189078 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.6 / points:6.0 / quiz:Q70750
Lexile: 870L

Winner of the 2018 ALA Schneider Family Book Award, Middle Grade Books category Sixth grade is coming to an end, and so is life as Macy McMillan knows it. Already a "For Sale" sign mars the front lawn of her beloved house. Soon her mother will upend their perfect little family, adding a stepfather and six-year-old twin stepsisters. To add insult to injury, what is Macy's final sixth grade assignment? A genealogy project. Well, she'll put it off - just like those wedding centerpieces she's supposed to be making. Just when Macy's mother ought to be understanding, she sends Macy next door to help eighty six-year-old Iris Gillan, who is also getting ready to move - in her case into an assisted living facility. Iris can't pack a single box on her own and, worse, she doesn't know sign language. How is Macy supposed to understand her? But Iris has stories to tell, and she isn't going to let Macy's deafness stop her. Soon, through notes and books and cookies, a friendship grows. And this friendship, odd and unexpected, may be just what Macy needs to face the changes in her life. Shari Green, author of Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles , writes this summer story with the lightest touch, spinning Macy out of her old story and into a new one full of warmth and promise for the future.

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