By Jane Kurtz
Greenwillow Books, 279 pages, $16.99
Anna Nickel is prepared for anything and everything in life: Bears, Tornadoes, Earthquakes, You Name It. What she isn’t prepared for is her family’s sudden move from Colorado to Oakwood, Kansas to help a small church heal and rebuild from old wounds. Anna is even less prepared when Simon, a local boy, plays tricks on her without cause. Anna begins working on a plan to get back to Colorado but soon finds that her father – and God – may have something else in mind.
Anna Was Here is a new tween book by author Jane Kurtz and it is a delightful look at how hard change can be. She nicely shows Anna’s struggle to adjust to a change she does not want or like and also nicely shows her parent’s own struggle with their new situation. Like life, the book does not have every issue (or indeed many) resolved by the end which is a refreshing change for a children’s book. The most poignant parts of the book come with Anna’s realization that she has the power to affect change for herself and those around her. Anna is a delight and young and old readers will enjoy reading about her journey.
Reviewed by Barbara Cothern