Book Review: A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

A Northern LightBook Review: A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Mattie’s teacher can see her potential as a writer. Unlike teachers before, Ms. Wilcox is pushing Mattie to apply for a scholarship to college and to dream bigger than the only life she has ever known. But life isn’t that simple for Mattie, especially when Grace Brown drowns shortly after giving her letters she made Mattie promise to burn. Told both in flashback and in present tense, this story is a beautiful homage to the power of words, promises, and friendship.

I know this is an older book, but it has been on my bookshelf forever, and I just finally got around to reading it this summer. There is a love of words in this book that called to me (as a word nerd). I really liked the way the story flipped back and forth, so it kept you guessing about what was coming next. You can certainly tell some research went into this for accuracy, but it didn’t feel that way as you read the book. I was drawn to Mattie and her desire for more while still feeling rooted in the past.


Man, I’m sick about this…had tons of great quotes bookmarked BUT I returned the book when it expired knowing I could get back to them later, but OverDrive failed me for the first time ever, and didn’t keep my bookmarks. That is so unusual. I probably could find them in the book, but too many other great things to read, so I’m just calling it a day and moving on to the next adventure!

Recommended Grades: 10 and up (language and some subject matter)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Overall Opinion:  Above Average
Source: audio and book

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