Counting Thyme: A Heartfelt Story of Family, Hope and Home
Counting Thyme is a middle grade novel by Melanie Conklin that explores the emotional journey of a girl who moves across the country with her family for her brother's cancer treatment. The book was published in 2016 by Penguin Young Readers and has received many accolades, including being a finalist for several state awards and a winner of the Nerdy Book Award.
The story follows eleven-year-old Thyme Owen, who loves her home in California and her best friend Shani. But when her little brother Val gets accepted into a new drug trial in New York, she has to leave everything behind and start over in a new city. Thyme tries to be brave and supportive of her brother, but she also misses her old life and hopes to go back someday. She keeps track of the time she spends in New York by collecting spare change in a jar, hoping to save enough money for a plane ticket home.
As Thyme adjusts to her new surroundings, she makes new friends, develops a crush on a boy named Jake, and gets involved in a school play. She also bonds with her grumpy neighbor Mr. Lipinsky and his pet parrot Kiwi. But she also faces challenges, such as dealing with her brother's side effects, coping with her parents' stress, and feeling guilty for wanting to leave. Thyme learns that life is full of surprises, both good and bad, and that sometimes home is not a place, but a feeling.
Counting Thyme is a touching and realistic portrayal of a family coping with a serious illness. It also celebrates the power of friendship, love, and hope in difficult times. The book is written in a simple and engaging style that captures Thyme's voice and emotions. The characters are well-developed and relatable, each with their own struggles and strengths. The book also includes some fun extras, such as recipes, activities, and discussion questions.
If you are looking for a book that will make you laugh, cry, and think, Counting Thyme is a perfect choice. You can download the pdf version of the book from Goodreads or Melanie Conklin's website. You can also order a signed copy from Words Bookstore. You won't regret reading this heartwarming and inspiring story.
One of the themes that Counting Thyme explores is the meaning of home. Thyme feels torn between her old home in California and her new home in New York. She wonders if she can ever belong in both places, or if she has to choose one over the other. She also realizes that home is not just a physical location, but a state of mind. She finds comfort and joy in the people and things that make her feel at home, such as her family, her friends, her hobbies, and her memories.
Another theme that the book addresses is the importance of communication. Thyme often feels like she can't express her true feelings to anyone, because she doesn't want to hurt or worry them. She keeps her emotions bottled up inside, which makes her feel lonely and isolated. She also struggles to understand what others are going through, especially her brother and her parents. She learns that communication is not only about talking, but also about listening and empathizing. She discovers that by opening up to others, she can find support and connection.
A third theme that the book highlights is the value of time. Thyme is obsessed with counting the time she spends in New York, hoping that it will end soon. She also worries about how much time her brother has left, and whether he will get better or worse. She learns that time is precious and unpredictable, and that it should not be wasted or taken for granted. She learns to appreciate the present moment, and to make the most of every opportunity. 248dff8e21