All The Answers
by Kate Messner, published 2015
“The pencil didn’t look magic. It looked the opposite of magic. It was the kind of pencil a parent might bring home from some boring financial-planning convention.”
This very clever and heart-warming children’s book offers a novel approach to knowing the future… a pencil which can answer any factual question. Put it into the hands of two young girls, and the action begins. The main character, Ava, is dealing with a mild version of anxiety disorder. Her best friend is dealing with crushes on boys. The question the children’s book raises is whether knowing the future increases or decreases anxiety!
The story has a number of unexpected twists and turns involving elders as well, where there are some very sweet scenes between the young folks and the aging community. This children’s book is steeped with contemporary cultural references, and yet it is written in a voice that is strong and timeless.
I found that I couldn’t remember the details of this children’s book a month later, but as soon as I reopened it, I remembered the enjoyment I had while reading it. Well written, thoughtfully constructed, this will make a good addition to healing children’s inner world.