My pre-ordered copies of Dear Opl arrived this week. It was great fun opening the box. I finally had my hands on this gem of a book, penned by Shelley Sackier of Peak Perspective.
My 15-year-old son asked why I ordered so many copies. “Because I know the author,” I gushed, to which he replied, “Yeah, but why do you need so many copies of the same book?”
More about that in a bit.
I discovered Shelley’s blog a few years ago and quickly became a fan. She’s an extraordinary writer, who weaves humor and smarts into a variety of essays published weekly. When I belly up to my computer and settle in for a good read, I know I’ll be entertained. I’m also there to learn. Each week I try to absorb that special something that makes her an engaging writer. When my blog grows up it wants to be just like Peak Perspective.
On the subject of Peak Perspective, Shelley’s blog title
was born of both sight and wordplay. [She] lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Through a series of serendipitous events several of my fellow bloggers met Shelley on her “peak” earlier this year. She graciously hosted four women she’d never met for a magical gathering of spirited conversation.
If time travel were possible, I would give a copy of this book to my younger self. Like Opl, my father died when I was young leaving a gaping hole in our lives. Like Opl, I turned to junk food for comfort and solace. And though our mother was a wonderful cook, once faced with the task of working full-time and raising three girls on a budget, much of our food came from packages, too, just like Opl. My life in those days felt hopeless. Opl learns a healthier way to be in the world. She discovers ways to nurture and be nurtured and in doing so discovers her own voice.
Here’s what the book jacket says:
There are three things Opl never expected to do during the eighth grade:
- Start a vendetta against celebrity chef Alfie Adam, the “nude Food Dude”
- Take yoga classes with her grandpa
- Become a famous blogger
But after a year of shrinking down her personality to compensate for the fact that her body’s getting bigger (like taking the “a” out of Opal to make her name 25% smaller), Opl thinks it’s about time to begin speaking up again What she doesn’t expect is for everyone to actually start listening…
Sharing the Love
Would you like a copy of Dear Opl for your own library? Do you know a young teen that would enjoy “a brilliant story with heart, a few tears and much laughter.” -Kathryn Erskine
I’ve purchased several copies, including a few for our neighborhood Little Free Libraries. If you would like one, please let me know in the comment below. Once I have a tally, I’ll start mailing copies next week.*
- Kirkus Reviews: Dear Opl
- Health Kick: Mom on a Mission (Shelley’s interview on NPR)
- My Goodreads review
*Fine print/lawyer talk: This offer remains open through midnight, August 14, 2015 PST. One copy per household please.