As a fourteen-year-old girl struggling to fit in with her peers in the 1970s, North Carolina Simon hates her name and her family’s eccentricities that often draw unwanted attention — her father is a hoarder, her mother is an unpredictable artist, and her older sister lives with an autistic diagnosis. With high school on the horizon, North is determined to break free from her family’s shadow, adopting a new name (Carol) and wardrobe in an attempt to reinvent herself.
“As the last graduate was named, everyone stood and cheered, and I let out the loudest cheer ever, ready for my new name and new look to raise me above my lowly existence too.” ~ Dianne Beck
However, as she distances herself from her two longtime friends and adoring, dependent sister to befriend the popular crowd and showcase her singing talents, North soon realizes that change comes at a price. Faced with the consequences of her actions, North must decide whether fitting in is worth the cost or trust that God has a bigger, better plan for her life. Will she make the right choice in time to repair the damage she’s caused?
“If I wanted to make that vision real, I had to risk being heard.” ~ Dianne Beck
Finding True North is a heart-warming and witty coming-of-age story that encourages young readers to be unapologetically themselves! Through relatable characters and powerful lessons on topics such as bullying, friendship, racism, disabilities, and love, this novel is perfect for those transitioning into high school or struggling to find their place in the world. With Biblical truth woven throughout the storyline, North’s journey reminded me that sometimes the smallest actions make the greatest impact.
“Maybe that’s what happens when you lose something. It makes you see things differently.” ~ Dianne Beck
I was impressed with Dianne Beck’s writing and creativity. Although there were a few too many bird facts and some sections that could’ve been explored further, Finding True North had good plot points and an ongoing conflict that captivated my attention. One of my favorite characters was North’s sister, Aria, whose infectious passion for life left a lasting impression on me. As I read her scenes, I often thought of the famous Dr. Seuss quote, “Why fit in when you’re born to stand out?” Aria’s joy and passion for living life on her own terms serve as an inspiration for us all.
“She is the beautiful solo in this large piece of music I call life.“ ~ Dianne Beck
*Thank you, Dianne Beck, for providing me with a copy of this book to give an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
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