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Dreamsleeves is a middlegrade fiction novel by Coleen Murtagh Paratore.

It’s the summer before eighth grade and Aislinn “A” O’Neill is busier than ever.

Between watching over her younger siblings, B, C, D, and baby E, she’s watching her parent’s fall apart. Her Mom is more tired than ever and her Dad’s drinking is getting worse.

So, the fact that she’s rarely allowed to leave the house and is certainly forbidden from dating the cute boy that’s been smiling at her, A doesn’t get much of a chance to escape from it all. No pool parties or time with her friends for A.

But she has dreams. Many, many dreams that can fill an entire notebook. Amidst the despondent, stark reality though, A begins to wonder if she is just a silly, childlike girl to hope any of them could come true.

Or do her dreams have more power than she can even imagine?

Dreamsleeves was an unexpectedly lovely book.

There’s a deep melancholy and sadness as Aislinn worries about her Mom’s dangerous pregnancy and her Dad’s destructive drinking. The internal, genuine ache hurts to read in its simple words and believable thoughts and feelings.

Though it’s never mentioned in the jacket sleeve, it seems that Dreamsleeves takes place in the 60s or 70s. The pop culture it describes, and utter lack of computers and cell phones, definitely support this. So, there’s an added tone of a bygone era, but a wholly identifiable issue.

Dreamsleeves is full of frustration and betrayal, but also hope and tenderness. There’s an innocence, yet a maturity to it. Obviously, there are many affective parallels in this book!

I loved A’s loyalty, responsibility, and love toward her siblings and family. She’s a good girl, doing her best, which can sometimes make her circumstances so piercingly, progressively sad!

Dreamsleeves was a touching, inspiring, memorable book that really encapsulated the idea of not giving up hope among heartbreak.


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