Hi guys! As you know, my junior year started last week, and I’m hoping for a great year ahead! Hopefully it won’t be as hard as everyone says it is, but I’m hoping it would be full of fun, books, music, and many great opportunities! Today I have another ARC review for you, and I’m so glad to be able to review Nancy J. Cavanaugh’s newest book Elsie Mae Has Something to Say! Last year, I reviewed her Just Like Me, which I loved, and I was able to interview her here! In a few weeks, I’ll have her back in an exclusive guest post, so don’t miss that! I hope you enjoy this review!
About the Book
Elsie Mae is pretty sure this’ll be the best summer ever. She gets to explore the cool, quiet waters of the Okefenokee Swamp around her grandparents’ house with her new dog, Huck, and she’s written a letter to President Roosevelt that she’s confident will save the swamp from a shipping company and make her a major hometown hero. Then, news reaches Elsie Mae of some hog bandits stealing from swamper families, and she sees another opportunity to make her family proud while waiting to hear back from the White House.
But when her cousin Henry James, who dreams of one day becoming a traveling preacher like his daddy, shows up and just about ruins her investigation with his “Hallelujahs,” Elsie Mae will learn the hard way what it really means to be a hero.
Disclaimer: I received a free signed ARC of this book and some swag from the author in exchange for an honest review. This will not affect my review.
I tweeted out while I was reading this that I couldn’t stop grinning, and I couldn’t throughout the first half of the book. Cavanaugh has once again impressed me with her latest novel Elsie Mae Has Something to Say! I’m really going to reiterate and repeat this many times: This book will make you feel as if you’re transported into the Okefenokee Swamp and actually hanging out with the main cast of characters. It’s one that you don’t want to put down!
I read this all in a day because it was such a fun read! It even put me on the edge of my seat, which is something that the typical MG novel doesn’t do. I definitely had so many laughs with Elsie, Henry, and their Swamper family! I felt as if I was really transported into the heart of the Okefenokee Swamp, and I loved it as much as Elsie did. With Elsie and Henry putting themselves in danger to capture the hog bandits, I just wanted to know what will happen next! I loved that it alternated between hilarious, comedic moments and suspenseful, back-stabbing ones; it truly was a well-rounded story! I could definitely say it was a fun, thrilling adventure!
I really loved how Cavanaugh molded such an amazing characters that fit so well with both the time period and the place. You just cannot not fall in love with this crazy cast of characters! From Elsie who has a headstrong and heroic personality to Henry who wants to be a preacher, they are characters that you can easily relate with. You can truly feel Elsie’s yearning to save the swamp and become a hero and also connect with her feelings of jealousy and envy when Henry arrives and originally “ruins” her plans. There’s moments where you’ll laugh really hard as if you’re eating dinner with Grandma and Grandpa and there’s moments where you’ll feel dejection and sadness. Like I said, you’re truly transported into the Okefenokee Swamp!
I think this is a perfect book to give to middle grade readers! Whether you’re a big historical fiction fan (like me!) or not, you’ll love this story of a girl who wants to be a hero and have the best summer, even with her cousin as an unexpected guest. There’s so many ups and downs like a roller coaster that it’s fun, and much preferable to an actual roller coaster (believe me, they’re scary- don’t want to ride them). Elsie is such an amazing character to relate to, and she reflects a lot of the feelings that many of us have. That’s why I’ll recommend Elsie Mae Has Something to Say to anybody, both young and old!
About the Author
Nancy J. Cavanaugh spends her winters in Florida enjoying the Gulf Coast and her summers eating pizza in her former hometown of Chicago. She loves reading middle grade novels. Her secret? She hasn’t read an adult book in years.
Like her main character, Ratchet, Nancy is pretty handy with a ratchet and is able to take apart a small engine and put it back together.
Like her main character, Abigail, Nancy often struggled while growing up to find the courage to do the right thing. She also fell in a HUGE puddle, just like Abigail did.
Nancy has been an elementary and middle school teacher as well as a library media specialist. One of her favorite parts of writing for children is being able to say “I’m working” when reading middle grade novels.
Do you have any thoughts or questions?
Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!