📚 Disclaimer in the books: Just so you know, Reading Middle Grade uses affiliate links. This means that when you shop via the links in our posts, we may earn a cent or two at no extra cost to you. Thanks for adding to our book buying fund.
Summary: The Many Fortunes of Maya
This book is all about Maya who enjoys playing soccer, but especially so because it makes her sports-obsessed dad happy. She’s convinced herself that to be a great soccer player and be picked by a junior league, she needs to stop focusing on the other thing she loves (but won’t admit to loving as much): playing her flute. But when her parents tell her they’re separating and friendship with her bestie starts to evolve with the addition of a third friend, Maya begins to feel really lost and it’s tough to figure out what she wants. Thankfully, she has a trusty wheel of fortunes she made from fortune cookie fortunes she’s collected over time. But can they help Maya find her way?
Maya is a likable and relatable protagonist who’s experiencing several life changes at once and resisting as much as she can — naturally. Her parents separation is realistically portrayed, with her dad needing to get his own place for the summer while they both re-evaluate whether or not to try again at their marriage. Maya blames her mother and this strains their already fragile relationship.
The soccer scenes in this book are well done, and it was nice to read about a sport I understand for once (ha!). Maya’s best friend has become close friends with another girl, which makes Maya feel insecure about their friendship and resentful about needing to share her friend with someone else. She also has to struggle with jealousy when her best friend wins a trophy she was really hoping to win. I loved the way this narrative was resolved and it helps Maya grow as she learns to be less selfish with her friendships.
Another element of this story is Maya’s getting to know her mother better (especially her mom’s past as an athlete) and how that helps them improve their relationship. Some other explored themes include dementia disease (in Maya’s friend’s grandparent) and creativity (Maya’s wheel of fortune is pretty cool and could be a nice project for kids).
Overall: The Many Fortunes of Maya
The Many Fortunes of Maya is a sweet, realistic, and heartwarming book about facing your fears and listening to your inner voice. This is a great addition to stories about families experiencing parental separation, kids trying to find their passions, and separating one’s goals from external validation. It also highlights how to deal with tough emotions like insecurity and jealousy in friendships. All in all, very well done.
Buy This Book
More Book Reviews
- Just Right Jillian by Nicole D. Collier
- Figure It Out Henri Weldon by Tanita S. Davis
- Lasagna Means I Love You by Kate O’Shaughnessy
What do you think? Leave a comment