About The Ambassador of Nowhere Texas
Author: Kimberly Willis Holt
Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Released: January 12th, 2021
Buy the book: Bookshop
Synopsis: Kimberly Willis Holt’s The Ambassador of Nowhere, Texas is a stunning post-9/11 companion to the National Book Award-winner When Zachary Beaver Came to Town.
Decades after the Vietnam War and Toby’s life-changing summer with Zachary Beaver, Toby’s daughter Rylee is at a crossroads–her best friend Twig has started pushing her away just as Joe, a new kid from New York, settles into their small town of Antler. Rylee befriends Joe and learns that Joe’s father was a first responder on 9/11. The two unlikely friends soon embark on a project to find Zachary Beaver and hopefully reconnect him with Rylee’s father almost thirty years later.
This beautiful middle grade novel is a tribute to friendships–old and new–and explores the challenges of rebuilding what may seem lost or destroyed.
6 Things I Enjoyed from The Ambassador of Nowhere Texas:
- I LOVED how Kimberly Willis Holt developed her characters from the beginning to the end. They were easy to like and relate to.
- The dialogue between Rylee and Joe was engaging, believable, and conveyed a wonderful sense of small-town closeness.
- Both the subject matter (9/11) and the memories associated with it were written in a way that was factual, yet, still reveling the topsy-turvy emotions that go along with losing someone you love in such a tragic way.
- Kimberly Willis Holt did a good job explaining the timeline for the characters while still giving me a richer understanding of what it might have been like to lose someone during 9/11
- I appreciated how Kimberly Willis Holt interwove themes of forgiveness, overcoming grief, being true to yourself, and perseverance.
- I will close out with my favorite quote from the book:
“But true Friendship never fades, no matter what happens”.
Overall, this was an enjoyable, engaging, and enlightening story that any age would like. I do think it started a little slow, but after reading a bit I was thoroughly engrossed in the story. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, for the characters, how 9/11 was conveyed, and for giving me a richer understanding of that time period.
*I volunteered to read this book in return for my honest feedback. The thoughts and opinions expressed within are my own.
About Kimberly Willis Holt
Kimberly Willis Holt is the author of the Piper Reed series, including Piper Reed, Navy Brat, Piper Reed, Clubhouse Queen, and Piper Reed, Rodeo Star. She has written many award-winning novels, including The Water Seeker and My Louisiana Sky, as well as the picture books Waiting for Gregory and Skinny Brown Dog. A former Navy brat herself, Holt was born in Pensacola, Florida, and lived all over the U.S. and the world—from Paris to Norfolk to Guam to New Orleans. Holt long dreamed of being a writer, but first worked as a radio news director, marketed a water park, and was an interior decorator, among other jobs. A few years after she started writing, her third book, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, won a National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. She resides in West Texas with her family.
Up for grabs is ONE (1) physical copy of The Ambassador of Nowhere Texas by Kimberly Willis Holt. This giveaway is open to US residents only and will run from January 11th to January 18th at 11:59 PM CST. To enter, click the link below!