Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Just Claire by Jean Ann Williams {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}

Genre: Fiction, Historical, Children's
Publisher: Clean Reads
Publication date: January 6, 2016
Number of pages: 208

ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.
With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be 
​ trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.

Book Trailer

Author Jean Ann Williams, the eldest in a large family, enjoys digging into her fascinating childhood to create stories for children. Having written over one hundred articles for children and adults, this is her first book. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods and practicing archery with her bow.
*I received a copy through Singing Librarian Tours in exchange for an honest review*
4.5 Stars

ClaireLee is thirteen years old and after a quick move to a new state for her father's new job and a traumatic birth of her baby brother, her world turns upside down. Her mother isn't the same and it's up to Claire to care for her younger siblings, run the household, keep her family together, go to school, and try and fit in with the Lavender girls and the locals. Being thirteen isn't easy, as.

I really enjoyed the way Claire is portrayed as a girl beyond her years in maturity, yet still possesses those childish impulses. Her coming-of-age is endearing and the lessons learned are mighty. Claire is very likable and it's easy to root for her along her path. I loved watching her gradually trusting those around her and found myself pitying her for her situation at times, especially when her parents with either too busy or too ignorant to do anything to ease her burdens. Her friendships were the heart of the story. Belinda reminded me of Peppermint Patty, from The Peanuts, as she's very brash, loud, and blunt, but is loyal to the core.

The flow of the story and the way the setting and characters are depicted felt very true to life in a small, transient, Northern California town in the 1960's. The pacing is gentle and realistic and I enjoyed every page.

Content: the characters are religious and often utter phrases from hymns or snippets of prayers; no language or romance; mild violent elements--not graphic, but some descriptions of blood and childbirth. Clean.


  1. I like the color of your page, Katie, nice and warm. And thank you for the wonderful review of Just Claire and hosting me on your blog.

    1. Thank you, Jean! I'm happy to host and wish you the best of luck!