As we look back to when we were twelve, the same age as Millie Jackson, the protagonist in Ms. Soard’s book, how many of us can remember the difficulties we had coming of age. But I wonder how many of us had to endure the kind of family environment she had to face on any given day, a strict mother who rule the roost without a single item getting under her radar.

Luckily Millie has two best friends, her two cousins Aaron and Josh, as her company. To away from her daily miserable environment, Millie loves to wander into the wooded mountainous area around her home. The only thing she really needs to keep mindful of is not running into creepy old man Taylor who frightens her slightly each time she sees him on one of his daily hikes to his wife’s grave.

Everything is essentially fine with Millie until the day a tragedy hits her like a brick when the car Aaron’s driving gets involved in a horrific accident and kills Josh. Just like when we hear that one of our loved ones has been suddenly taken away us, we’re in a state of total disbelief; she wants it to be a horrific mistake or merely a bad dream as well.

While Millie is too young to do what we as adults sometimes resort in doing, like getting drunk to make us feel better, she is getting tempted by Renee, who she’s getting increasing involved with, into using drugs to get the same result. The question is which path will Millie ultimately decide to take.

I loved the author’s true to life approach to this story, an approach which didn’t appear to be overly self-righteous. The fact that Millie was able to rise above the adversities she had to face and to honor the memory of her cousin Josh’s life is something which should pull at the heartstrings of the adults reading this book, like me. This book can also be used to show readers in the target audience for this book that they need to put any event like the one Millie had to face behind them, so they can move on with their lives unabated, which is why I’ve decided to give Ms. Soard 5 STARS for this endeavor.