Title: Tiny Infinities
Author: J.H. Diehl
No. of pages: 352 (read as an ARC ebook: 344 pages)
Genre: Children’s, Middle Grade
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
Date Read: December 21, 2017
I was given this ARC as an ebook by NetGalley for an honest review.
Tiny Infinities is focused on Alice, a 13-year-old girl who, in the midst of one summer deals with her parents splitting up, her mother recovering from an accident, a girl next door who is mute and deaf, and an obsession with getting her swim times up on the record board at the pool. At first, this sounds like something that wouldn’t be readable. But you would be wrong. This book is one that I think every Middle-Grade reader, and everyone else, should at sometime pick up and read.
It’s said that kids have it easy, but this book proves that that’s not true. It also hits on topics that many books tend to stray away from such as divorce, teenage friendships/relationships, and childhood disorders.
Alice all throughout this book is dealing with the fallout of her mother’s accident the summer before and now her parents are splitting up and her mother seems to only be self-focused and tends to place blame not meant for Alice, on Alice. Alice is also right at the edge of “teenage-hood.” She’s just turned 13 and is in that weird stage between teenager and childhood. The one where she’s expected to be a kid, but also be a little bit more grown up.
The one consistency throughout the entire summer, the one thing that doesn’t change that she clings onto is swimming. I’m so glad that Alice gets a friend that is just as slightly weird as her. Harriet and Alice balance each other out quite nicely and I love their dynamic. The friendship between them felt real and not at all forced. Owen is a nice addition because he truly becomes a friend to Alice but also, kind of helps her figure that it’s okay to have a crush on someone and still be friends with them.
One of the many things I loved about this book was Alice’s connection with Piper. Piper, who throughout was believed to have a form of Autism, doesn’t really connect with others and yet Alice doesn’t give up. She’s patient and lets Piper learn and grow and connect at her own pace. I loved that Diehl added Piper right at the beginning because it gave the reader a different perspective on what childhood disorders might look like, and also, that children who do have childhood disorders such as Piper shouldn’t be treated or seen differently, but that they’re a person with value just as they are.
I absolutely loved this book. It was accurate and engaged so many topics that many children at this age are dealing with. It was a great, quick, and easy read and it’s not hard to fall in love with its characters. Alice was such a great main character that I feel many that read this book in the target age group can identify with on some level. I really hope that more books like this published. They’re needed and could be such a great resource to those dealing with issues in their own life such as the ones included in the book. This is one of those books that should be in the forefront and on top of everyone’s reading list as soon as it’s published.