Blog Book Tour | “Come Next Spring” by Alana White

Posted Monday, 24 October, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Come Next Spring” direct from the author Alana White in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this title interested me to read:

I love stories set in Appalachia or the Rocky Mountains – there is something about the setting and the communities that come alive inside these stories. I’ve had the tendency to focus on historicals – such as Christy which became a series on television that starred Kellie Martin or the Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard, both of whom granted me a heap of lovely hours caught up inside their worlds! I also loved the television series The Waltons, which is tucked into the mountains with homespun life lessons and positive affirmations of strong families, siblings and the surrounding community, too. There is something quite timeless about these kinds of stories, and I find them very heart-warming to read.

Thus, I was quite motivated to read Come Next Spring, especially knowing this is the 25th Anniversary Edition of a novel that already has held the attention of an audience long before I met it myself! I am unsure how I missed seeing this all those moons ago, but I was delighted I had a chance to read it now! I also have a soft spot in my heart for coming-of age stories – one even sparked into a sequel I haven’t had the chance to read, which reminds me of the kind of story I’m reading now: Calpurnia Tate! I look forward to reading more Middle Grade and Young Adult novels that are similar in tone, voice, style and articulation of those growing years where so much can be learnt or lost. There is a special niche right now in Children’s Lit that I am constantly re-inspired to read and discover.

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Blog Book Tour | “Come Next Spring” by Alana WhiteCome Next Spring
by Alana White
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

It’s 1949 in Tennessee Smoky Mountain country, and everything in pre-teen Salina’s life seems suddenly different. Her sister is engaged, her brother is absorbed in caring for his sickly foal, and Salina feels she has nothing in common anymore with her best friend. This novel for young people captures the insular spirit of the mountain people, the breathtaking country itself, and a girl’s struggle to accept the inevitability of change.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

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ISBN: 9781504034234

Genres: Children's Literature, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade


Published by Open Road Distribution

on 26th September, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 178

Originally Published By: Houghton Mifflin/Clarion,
now distributed by Open Road Distribution (part of Open Road Integrated Media Inc)

Available Formats: Paperback

Converse via: #ComeNextSpring #HistFic #MGLit

About Alana White

Alana White

Alana White is the author of fiction and nonfiction for adults and young readers. Her most recent publications are the adult historical mystery novel, The Sign of the Weeping Virgin, set at the height of the Italian Renaissance in Florence, Italy, and Come Next Spring, a coming of age novel set in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee in the 1940s.

She is also the author of a biography of Sacagawea, Sacagawea: Westward With Lewis and Clark. She is a longtime member of the Historical Novel Society, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, the Author’s Guild, and the Women’s National Book Association.

She lives in Nashville, TN. Alana welcomes readers and is always available for reader group chats.

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My review of come next spring:

We begin Come Next Spring reading a young girl’s journalled thoughts of her life on the closure of her eleventh year and the start of her twelfth, where as the seasons change, so too, does the tides of a young girl’s heart and adventures. Her siblings (two adventurous boys) are growing older as well – you can take a measure of pause how she is noticing those changes but doesn’t want to fully accept what they might mean to her young life. She has chores she’s expected to do on the farm, but the best part of her hours are spent writing her best friend whose on vacation, reading books through the library’s bookmobile and enjoying being out-of-doors whilst embracing the simplicity of her life that yields the most happiness she has ever known. It’s heart-warming and sweet, to see how excited she is for each new day, whilst realising that as she grows in years, so too, are the possibilities for other changes that she might not be ready to embrace.

The biggest disturbances in her life at the moment were her sister Mary’s fond affection for her beau, and her brother Paul’s concern for the horse he had been nursing back to health. As her siblings started to find their own ways in life, Salina was concerned about her own place in their lives, which is what caused the most worry on her young mind. Concurrent to her personal life changing at home, she was noticing differences at school, too. There was a new student in her eighth grade class named Scooter who was a natural musician and songstress, but she was dearly misunderstood by her classmates. Her father had died at war and her mother was trying to carve out a new beginning for her family, yet when she tried to share a piece of her story, even Salina mistook her recollections as something they weren’t. It’s hard when your family falls on hard times and you try to see the joys intermixed with the anxieties, when others only see a different perception on the same events in a way that you hadn’t considered yourself.

Contrary to what Salina might have felt about her readings of Gone With the Wind, Scooter broached an alternative ending she had not wished to consider whilst her best friend Mayella couldn’t understand the fuss about the book when she had seen the motion picture over the Summer! It was one of those tender moments where your world expands by newer thoughts and opposing viewpoints where someone gets you to think about how you arrived at your conclusions, even if for the sake of argument your both right and could both be wrong at the same time. It was interesting to bring up the ambiguous ending of the novel when sometimes there are stories (in books, films and tv series) which are left open to interpretation or not given a strong firmative ending to where you know without a doubt what occurred.  It’s a good learning lesson to include in a children’s story, as it’s part of the growth of a reader and of a curious mind who likes to ponder happier endings rather than somber ones. It shows how Salina hasn’t become hardened to real-life and how Scooter is a bit more worldly in this instance to understand how to accept endings your not quite prepared to understand.

There is a bit of a dichotomy of adolescent behaviour running through the novel, where you see how Salina is trying to sort out how everyone around her is changing but also, the differences between personalities – hers, her best friends and even Scooter. She’s used to things being a certain way, but even Mayella is acting differently than she had prior to summer vacation where she had a taste of  Hollywood and the gloss of what the film world could be like for a starlet. Her dreams of course are of being in that glittered world whereas Salina is cast aside a bit as she’s not arriving into her own voice and confidence of being at the same rate as Mayella. In many ways, Salina is watching everyone else start to blossom and grow towards who they want to be and she’s feeling slightly left out and behind.

Salina’s understanding starts to expand a bit when she interacts with Scooter on a class project, whilst getting the chance to talk to her family. Salina’s main issue is being caught up in the past and being stubborn to accept that sometimes change is a good thing for a small community such as hers to continue to find prosperity. There are undertones of how the war affected people’s opinions about certain families who either live or have moved into her area, but this felt quite organic to the the background of the story, as the era this story is set is only four years since the war ended. It was a hard time for most of America and there were still concerns about how the economy would resolve itself after so much strife. There were moments where you could see how Salina’s not always putting the best foot forward or voicing opinions that were a bit cruel-hearted but she was tempered by loving parents who tried to set her right if she was erring too far afield. Even her teacher at school was mindful of the difficulties of growing up and struggling to understand the wider world, whilst encouraging her students to not only work together but to change some of their unwillingness to accept what they were only just beginning to understand.

There is a telling way the story is told and revealled, where Ms White truly hones in on the curiosities of youth, mixing with the temperament of a pre-adolescent who isn’t quite ready to embrace all the changes arriving in her world. She writes with a flair for understanding the urgency of childhood – where every minute spent waiting for something (whether arriving at school or sitting down to a meal) is too long and how each small moment spent with friends or siblings is to be cherished, because it’s become a mainstay in your life. Young Salina is on the fringes of understanding the world outside her sphere – where the ordinary life she’s enjoying right now has a wider glimpse of the outside world past the mountains and the community she knows so very well. It’s a good story for young readers to see how one girl struggled to step outside her comfort zones and re-align her understanding of everything she held dear in a changing world.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com This blog tour is courtesy of: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

My apologies to the author and those following the tour – I had accidentally forgotten I was meant to host an interview attached to this blog tour! I took ill this month and I simply did not remember to turn in the questions. Therefore, if you’ve been following the blog tour and wondering what happened, it was blogger error! Thank you for visiting my review stop.

Come Next Spring blog tour via HFVBTsFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments about this Children’s Classic that has been re-released. What do you find heart-warming about these kinds of stories for children where timeless stories full of life lessons can continue to inspire new generations of readers to find it an enjoyable read!?

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Come Next Spring”, book synopsis, author photograph of Alana White, and the tour badge were all provided by HFVBTs (Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours) and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Ruminations and Impressions Banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2016.

Comments via Twitter:

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Monday, 24 October, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Middle Grade Novel, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, School Life & Situations, Siblings, Teacher & Student Relationships, The World Wars




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