Trusting True North

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Pub Date 05 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 19 Apr 2022

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True North Vincent feels lost and uneasy after the fear of a virus closes the border, meaning her mom can’t return home from Canada. With her father working long hours as a nurse helping people who are sick with the virus, she’s left at home with her grandma, who doesn’t have the energy to keep up with True’s adventures, or her older sister, always focused on her phone, or Georgie, her younger brother, whose severe asthma makes him more vulnerable to the virus. True is lonely and sometimes gets angry because she feels forgotten and unheard. True’s mom tries to talk to her by phone, but True refuses; she just wants her mom home in-person, not just her voice.

True finds escape and comfort in working on her maps, a skill she learned from her mother who is a cartographer. Not only does it fulfill her remote learning class assignment, but it helps to pass the time in isolation. She also creates an elaborate treasure map for Georgie that spans the entire thick forest beyond her backyard. While exploring, True finds the new kid, Kyler, playing tenderly with a litter of newborn kittens in an old barn.

Kyler knocked out Dakota Sullivan’s tooth during a fight and has a reputation of being a bully, so True waits until he’s gone before approaching the kittens. The smallest kitten, the runt of the litter, looks sickly and has been abandoned by the mama cat. True names her Teacup; she knows exactly how it feels to not have a mom around when you need her most.

As Teacup’s health worsens, True attempts to nurse the cat back to health by herself. Just when True thinks she and Kyler could be friends over their concern for Teacup, he starts acting strange and doesn’t return her calls. To make matters worse, True’s dad gets sick and must stay at the hospital, and then Georgie gets lost in the forest, and then their elderly neighbor gets the virus. True feels even more scared and alone. Running out of her own fixes and remedies, True reaches out and realizes that her family does care about her and wants to offer support and guidance to help her find her way through the unexpected challenges the virus and life bring.

True North Vincent feels lost and uneasy after the fear of a virus closes the border, meaning her mom can’t return home from Canada. With her father working long hours as a nurse helping people who...

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ISBN 9781629729916
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 10 members

Featured Reviews

TRUSTING TRUE NORTH by GINA LINKO is a fascinating children’s story that shows the effects of the pandemic and lockdown on a family, and particularly on True North Vincent, who feels responsible for everyone, feeling abandoned by her mother and older sister Rosie, while she looks after her little brother Georgie. She is overwhelmed by her feelings and worries. She does not take discipline well and is always getting into trouble from Grandma Jo. Her mother is a cartographer and True makes a couple of treasure maps to entertain Georgie. Then, when she is in quarantine in the basement, she talks to her mother about her latest unfinished map, which is really the map of her life. It is a great read as we follow True’s adventures and the people she meets. I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Shadow Mountain Publishing. The opinions in this review are completely my own.

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Speaking from the perspective of an older sibling, this book gripped my heart. I felt along with True as she desperately tries to bring her little brother's spirits up when their mother is unable to come back home due to the border closing from the virus. She puts his feelings before her own and is only able process her emotions through anger and drawing her map. This is the first book I have read set in the pandemic. It talks about friendship through the screen, the boredom of being stuck inside, and ultimately, teaches us to appreciate what we have and learn when to ask for help. Building maps is a wonderful way to introduce children to worldbuilding and wanderlust. I loved the tidbits that teach us how to make a map with your own quirk in it.

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True North is tired of the lockdown and elearning. Mom has to stay in Canada because the borders are closed due to the virus. When walking, True and her brother Georgie find a barn and discover kittens and an old metal detector, and they see a boy from school. Does someone own the kittens and metal detector? True makes a map for Georgie so he can use the metal detector that she took. When they go back to the barn to see the kittens, Old Man Parker shows up. Now what?

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Trusting True North is an exciting and amazing children's story, that teaches us about the effect of the pandemic on a young person dealing with loneliness and a need for her mothers company. The characters in the story are brilliant, with great personalities and quirks, making each one memorable. For a child, this book is extremely impactful and deals with a range of emotions- while also keeping every reader grasped during the adventurous stage in the story. I recommend this book for any older child who is struggling during the pandemic and anyone who feels different.

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True’s mom is a cartographer who gets stuck in Canada when the pandemic strikes. She is unable to cross the border to return home to her family. True is the middle child who needs her mom and resents her absence. Her dad is a nurse and isolates himself in the basement whenever he can come home. Her grandma is mostly in charge and has a hard time understanding True. Compass is her older sister who has drifted away from their formerly close relationship. True takes responsibility for her younger brother Georgie who has asthma and at most risk should he get the virus. True entertains herself and Georgie with map making and treasure hunts, while trying to deal with her anger and resentment. When they find kittens in an old barn on one of their treasure hunts, True also finds Kyler, a new boy from her school who already has been painted as a bully. This is a wonderful story of a girl who is doing her best and struggling to deal with her emotions. So much in her life is outside her control. As True makes her way through her life as it has become, there is so much that middle grade readers will relate to. This is a must have for my middle school library. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this arc in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the e-ARC of this middle grade novel. This book was a good story about inner strength and friendship. Set at the beginning of the pandemic, it may still be a little too soon for some readers, but overall, I think many kids can relate to True. She's a strong and sympathetic protagonist.

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First off this book is set in 2020 the uncertain beginning of the pandemic. I'd say it's pretty important to mention it as it may trigger some and I personally wasn't that aware of it. The virus is pretty much a main part of the book so if you're too anxious and sensitive to that, don't read it. This is the first 2020 pandemic book I read. The cover is very GORGEOUS though... You may be aware of my thing for book covers, especially MG ones... Lol True North is a fifth Grader that is struggling with anxiety in the pandemic. Her mom can't come home as the country borders got closed as she was for work travel as a cartographist. Her dad works as a nurse and sees the pandemic first hand. let me just express my gratitude to the doctors at the pa remix, they were heroes! True and her little brother George like to go out and play, but they're not allowed to meet their friends as of course... The pandemic. They have an online school that they don't enjoy, duh. True likes to make maps like her mom and they want to go exploring this barn. They meet this big kid Kyle and they become friends. There are some cats too, but one sadly dies. Worrying and talking to adults, respecting the social distancing rules is a pretty major part of the story. True as well as her old sister Compass Rose kind of close to themselves and when it became too much it just exploded. I think this book has very important lessons, especially for us covid people. I believe this book can become pretty important to younger generations to learn the situation of our pandemic, our dears, and uncertainties, missing family members as we were quarantined. I am so glad the situation is much under control now, we go to physical school and we can see our loved ones!!! Also, let me just say that I cried at some parts especially True's uneasy feelings and wanting to care for everyone!!!

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This book was sweet and heartwarming and I loved the way that the plot progressed. True is a great character and so is her brother. This book is so sweet and I enjoyed it a lot!

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Keeping family, friendship and hope high, this is actually a quicker read, which packs emotion but doesn't bog down. True's world has turned upside down. The pandemic has set in right when her mother has traveled to Canada, and now, thanks to the closed borders, can't get home. Her father is working overtime, caring for those as he can, which leaves True under the care of her grandmother with her siblings. While trying to find her place in all of this, she discovers a kitten who needs care. But despite all of her efforts, things seem to get rougher, and soon, she's not sure how to handle everything. This is a read, which looks at difficulties caused by the pandemic, building in family situations, emotions, and heart. True is an intelligent and caring girl, who does her best to 'fix' things as her family is thrown into uncertainty. Especially those who lived under similar circumstances will find familiarity in the situation. But even those who weren't facing quite as much insecurity will connect with her, since this is as much a tale about family and relationships. Her care for those around her and the kitten make her easy to root for. At around 175 pages, it's kept fairly short, and that's great. This is a serious read, which hits the heart and revolves around relationships within the family, neighbors and friends. Keeping it from growing too long allows more hesitant readers a bit more breathing space, especially since it's a fairly simple plot and an easy read. So, kudos on that end. I believe that this one will have more impact in a few more years as some families still aren't out and about in normality, yet. But it's well written, has characters who are easy to sympathize with, and flows along nicely. So, I can recommend this one to those interested in the theme. I received an ARC through Netgalley.

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#TrustingTrueNorth #NetGalley A children's story, set in 2020 during the pandemic. True North, is a fifth grader and misses seeing her friends. She also misses her mom, who hasn't been able to come home, because of the pandemic. True likes to draw maps and send her brother George out looking for treasures. True, also finds an unexpected friend, in someone she originally thought was unkind. I loved how close knit the North. Children were in the story. The pandemic is a tough subject matter for middle readers, but each one has felt the effects of not being able to live life the way it was before. I love the gorgeous cover.

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