The ACB with Honora Lee (New Zealand)

Book #16

The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi

By sheer coincidence, I read back-to-back books about a young person who spends most of their free time with an aging grandmother. My choice for Japan had this running story line and The ACB with Honora Lee took it to a whole new level. Both books had me thinking of the time I spent with my grandparents as they were in their final years and they were comforting memories.

I’ve read at least one book from New Zealand in the past, Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries - a monster of book that won the 2013 Man Booker Prize. I opted for something more lighthearted with De Goldi’s young adult novel about a girl named Perry and her blossoming relationship with her grandmother who is living in a nursing home and afflicted with Alzheimer’s.

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Perry is the only child of two highly intellectual parents who expect her to learn and grow by being involved in all the things. She’s not a natural at any of them and eventually finds the most joy in spending time with her grandmother (Honora) and the other patients and staff at the nursing home.

Honora never remembers Perry, but tolerates her visits and they come to a mutual understanding of their time together. Perry works on a project to celebrate the people of the facility and soon finds herself learning more than she ever could through normal after school activities.

The illustrations in this book are whimsical and bring Perry’s project to life. This book took me just a few hours to read and I’d recommend it to any young adult who wants to explore the idea of a family’s love.