Down in the Belly of the Whale
by Kelley Kay Bowles
Publisher: Aionios Books, LLC (May 5, 2018)
Publication Date: May 5, 2018
Genre: YA Family Issues | Coming of Age
Print Length: 241 pages
Harper Southwood is a teenage girl who can sense when people will get sick—but so what? She can’t predict her best friend’s depression or her mother’s impending health crisis. Being helpful is all Harper ever wanted, but she feels helpless in the face of real adversity. Now, she’s got a chance to summon her courage and use her wits to fight for justice. Laugh and cry along with this irrepressible, high-spirited teen in her journey of self-discovery, as she learns that compassion and internal strength are her real gifts, her true superpower.
Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kay BowlesThe spirit, the voice and the viewpoint of a young teen come alive through Kelley Kay Bowles’s DOWN IN THE BELLY OF A WHALE. Step into Harper’s world and her mind as she witnesses the life she has always known become a roiling vat of turmoil she would do anything in her power to quell, if only she felt she had that power. Then again, with all of the bravado of youth, she just might…Get ready to laugh, to cry, to be angered and appalled as the innocence of youth is stripped away and the world becomes a frightening place to be in and Harper becomes a super hero in her own right.
An upbeat, yet insecure teen with a quirky outlook, a secret crush and the comfort of a strong family support system must come to terms with the pain her best friend has been hiding for years and is determined to be the support her friend needs.
Meanwhile, Harper will also learn that her mother, her rock, has a life-altering illness and she is determined to give back all of the love and support she has been raised with.
Kelley Kay Bowles has nailed the teen voice, the emotional persona and dealt with some pretty tough issues with a compassionate heart. Is this read for everyone? Yes, I think it is, but I also think it was written for teens and young adults who do not require what older readers do to “believe.”
Because I firmly believe that every topic in this book is relevant and appropriate, I shared DOWN IN THE BELLY OF THE WHALE with a young teen, I needed to know what she took away from this tale, because she is the target audience.
Her words: I totally loved Harper! She sounds like me! I was mad about her friend and her mom and I loved how Harper tried to help them both. There you have it, young teens can relate, understand the gravity of events and still take away positivity. Makes this a true gem at the top of the YA pile!