When Jade gets caught making up school reports about her summer vacations, her parents send her to have a real summer adventure in Wyoming with her aunt. From stargazing on the roof to meeting a boy who claims to be related to Butch Cassidy, Jade’s world starts rapidly expanding. Skies Like These isn’t all sunny weather, but even the storms make for great slumber parties.

Jade has a lot of eccentricity to cope with, and the story feels a bit overstuffed at times—with a kennel full of dogs, a planned art heist, cowboy poetry contest, wild neighbors and Aunt Elise expanding her rooftop parties to include astronomy classes—but it’s sweet to see Jade making new friends both young and old and finding her own way.

This story would be ideal for a youngster traveling for the first time, as it’s ultimately about finding contentment wherever you are and making the best of what you find there. Aunt Elise moved to Wyoming to find a sense of peace but left family ties behind; her time with Jade lets her renew that connection. Skies Like These is a jumble, but a warm and friendly one.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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